MEMPHIS, Tenn. – With a come-from-behind win, sophomore Alyssa Bellini picked up Lipscomb tennis’ first ever main-draw win on Saturday at the “ITA Regional Indoor Championships” in Memphis.
“This was really a milestone victory because this was the first victory in the main draw for either the men’s or women’s team in the ITA Regions,” head coach Andrew Harris said. “We’ve had players that have made it and won in the qualifying round, but never in the main draw. So, this was really a remarkable win.”
Bellini came back to defeat Miami’s (OH) Katherine Castro after losing the first set to secure the milestone victory, 1-6, 6-3, 6-0.
“I was really proud of Alyssa and how she hung in there today,” Harris said. “She lost the first set 6-1 and was down a break in the second, 3-2. She just showed a tremendous amount of mental fortitude to come back and rail-wall ten straight games. She just kept building on the momentum she had, and she just did a great job. It was a tremendous win for the program.”
Bellini eventually went on to lose in the second round 6-1, 6-1 to Vanderbilt’s Jackie Wu, who was ranked No. 100 in singles by the ITA.
“For Alyssa, she definitely proved to herself that she can play at this level,” Harris said. “Now, it’s going to be critical over the next six to eight weeks as we finish out the fall and winter season that she continues to work on these things. This was a good confidence booster for her this weekend.”
While Bellini returned home with a win, freshman Deahna Welcher and Jenny Borck came out empty handed.
Welcher competed in the doubles draw with Bellini, but the duo lost in the qualifying round to Louisville’s Villajuan and Duncan.
Borck was trailing Indiana University-Purdue Indianapolis’s Vanessa Whyte 6-4, 4-3 before retiring from the match.
“I think Alyssa was definitely able to take away some good experiences from this tournament,” Harris said. “But what I think is even more impressive is for this team, I think, everyone was able to take away something from this tournament, which was good. “
The Lady Bisons will return to the practice courts as they prepare to travel to Martin to face the University of Tennessee at Martin on Friday.
BELLINI (Lipscomb) defeats CASTRO (Miami OH) 1-6, 6-3, 6-0
WU (Vanderbilt) defeats BELLINI (Lipscomb) 6-1, 6-1
WHYTE (IUPUI) defeats BORCK (Lispcomb), 6-4, 4-3 (ret.)
VILLAJUAN/DUNCAN (Louisville) defeat BELLINI/WELCHER (Lipscomb), 8-5