CULLOWHEE, N.C.- The Lipscomb women’s tennis team opened their 2017-18 season with a strong performance at the Western Carolina Invitational over the weekend. The tournament consisted of singles and doubles matches on both Saturday and Sunday. In addition to Lipscomb and host Western Carolina, participating teams included Presbyterian, Tusculum and Young Harris.
“I’m pleased with the weekend,” Lipscomb head coach Jamie Aid said. “We were able to see what we need to work on as a team. I’m very encouraged by the effort that (our players) are consistently willing to put forth.”
Sophomore Denise Buberl highlighted the tournament by going undefeated in singles play. The Austria native defeated Tusculum’s Caitlin McCullough (6-4, 6-4) and Young Harris’ Elin Rundcrantz (3-6, 6-2, 10-2) on Saturday, before downing Western Carolina’s Jordan Strickland (4-6, 6-4, 10-7) on Sunday.
Freshman Kateryna Popova was impressive in her debut despite going nearly 10 months without playing in a sanctioned tennis match. The Ukrainian's collegiate career began with victories Presbyterian’s Tracy Johnson (6-3, 6-3) and Tusculum’s Katarina Majorova (7-4, 3-6, 10-5).
Another positive development for the Lady Bisons was the return of Kateryna Kandyba, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury. Kandyba opened with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Young Harris’ Laura Sanchez, and she later defeated Tusculum’s Brittani Brooks (7-6 (4), 6-3). In doubles play on Sunday, Kandyba teamed up with Presbyterian’s Brittany Nuttall and the pair won back-to-back matches.
As planned, Viktoriya Dzybua did not play to keep from reaching her tournament limit. The junior will head to the West Coast this week to compete in the Oracle ITA Masters, which begins on Thursday in Malibu, California.
Full results from the weekend can be found below. For more information on the Lipscomb women's tennis team, please stay tuned to LipscombSports.com and follow the team on Twitter (@LipscombWTennis)
WCU INVITATIONAL FINAL RESULTS:
McCall/Strickland (WCU) def. Denise Buberl/Kateryna Popova (LIP) 7-5
Madeline Brooks/Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) def. Taranto/Webb (WCU) 7-5
Thompson/Rowley (PC) def. Hannah Gamage/Kateryna Kandyba 7-6 (3)
*Kateryna Kandbya (LIP)/ Brittany Nuttall (PC) def. Mota/Ortiz (TC) 6-4
*Kateryna Kandbya (LIP)/ Brittany Nuttall (PC) def. Quevdeo/Rundcrantz (YH) 6-1
Majorova/Funke (TC) def. Denise Buberl/Kateryna Popova (LIP) 6-4
Denise Buberl/Kateryna Popova def. Johnson/Henschel (PC) 6-3
Madeline Brooks/Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) def. Rodriquez/Labaqui (YH) 6-4
McCullough/A. McCullough (TC) def. Madeline Brooks/Thabile Tshatedi 6-2
Kateryna Kandyba (LIP) def. L. Sanchez (YH) 7-6 (5), 6-4
Kateryna Kandyba (LIP) def. B.Brooks (TC) 7-6 (4), 6-3
Labaqui (YH) def. Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) 6-1, 5-7, 10-7
Funke (TC) def. Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) 6-4, 6-1
Kateryna Popova (LIP) def. T. Johnson (PC) 6-3, 6-3
Kateryna Popova (LIP) def. K. Majorova (TC) 7-5, 3-6, 10-5
Taylor (PC) def. Madeline Brooks (LIP) 6-2, 6-3
McCullough (TC) def. Madeline Brooks (LIP), 6-1, 6-4
Denise Buberl (LIP) def. C. McCullough (TC) 6-4, 6-4
Denise Buberl (LIP) def. E. Rundcrantz (YH) 3-6, 6-2, 10-2
King (WCU) def. Kateryna Popova (LIP) 6-4, 6-4
Madeline Brooks (LIP) def. A. Webb (WCU) 6-1, 6-3
Thompson (PC) def. Kateryna Kandyba (LIP) 6-2, 6-2
Denise Burberl (LIP) def. J. Strickland (WCU) 4-6, 6-4, 10-7
Calais (PC) def. Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) 2-6, 2-1 (Retire)