MASON, Ohio – The Lipscomb women’s tennis team opened its fall season this past weekend with a near-perfect performance in the Greater Cincinnati Invitational in Mason, Ohio.
Competing against a field that included Cincinnati, Xavier, Dayton, Western Kentucky and Northern Kentucky among others, the Lady Bisons dominated by winning seven of their eight draws.
“This weekend was our first tournament of the fall season, so winning 7-of-8 draws was great for our confidence,” Lipscomb head coach Jamie Aid said. “I was very proud of their resilience on court. Four out of the seven victories were won in third-set tie breakers for the final matches.”
Reigning ASUN Freshman of the Year Kate Popova breezed through her draw with a (6-0, 6-1) victory over Dayton’s Kelly Pleiman in the opening round before putting away NKU’s Maria Koo, (6-4, 4-1) to get her to the finals. Popova then knocked off Cincinnati’s Emma Miceli (6-0, 7-6(5)) to get the win.
Senior Madeleine Brooks and junior Denis Buberl were also impressive in their fall debuts. Brooks cruised (6-1, 6-1) and (6-1, 6-2) in her first two matches before coming from behind to down Wofford’s Lilli Steryous (3-6, 6-4, 10-3) in the final.
Buberl advanced through her draw with (6-3, 7-5) and (6-4, 4-6, 10-8) victories on the first day and then a (6-2, 6-3) decision to win her bracket.
Making her Lipscomb debut, freshman Liza Diachenko also won her draw in three matches. She got going with a (6-1, 6-2) win over WKU’s Zeniee Hall and then followed it up a (6-3, 6-2) victory in the semifinal. Diachenko fell in the first set (4-6), but bounced back to capture the draw (6-3, 1-0(6)).
Seniors Vika Dzyuba and Thabile Tshatedi each won their draw in two matches after having a bye in the first round. Dzyuba rolled past Xavier’s Anna Lento (6-1, 6-2) before taking down NKU’s Margita Sunjc (6-4, 6-4). Tshatedi recorded a (6-0, 6-4) victory in the opener and then held off Cincy’s Amanda Huser (6-3, 5-7, 1-0(2)) for the win.
The final victory for Lipscomb came from Maddox Bandy in her collegiate debut. Bandy advanced to the championship with a (7-5, 6-2) win in the first match before battling her way through the final (3-6, 7-6(1), 1-0(4)).
When the two days of action were completed, Lipscomb found itself with a 16-1 record in the invitational.
“We have a terrific group of girls that are extremely competitive,” Aid said. “We are looking forward to continuing to improve throughout the fall season.”
The Lady Bisons are back in action later this week when they head to Wisconsin for the Milwaukee Tennis Classic Sept. 20-21.