Sept. 29, 2013
PITTSBURGH - The Panther tennis team wrapped up competition in the Hokie Fall Invitational on Sunday with a successful and encouraging day.
Pitt's duo of Katherine Castro and Molly Wickman earned the Flight B doubles title with an 8-5 win over the squad from Liberty. Also in Flight B, the team of Jocelyn Lu and Lolade Ogungbesan won the consolation finals with a convincing 8-0 win over Radford.
In Flight A doubles, Taylor Washington and Amanda Wickman won the consolation title with an 8-3 victory over the team from James Madison. Audrey Ann Blakely and Kimmy Borza fell in the Flight A finals, 8-1, to Virginia Commonwealth.
"We definitely ended the Hokie Invite on a high note," said head coach Alex Santos. "Katherine and Molly taking the doubles title as a new pairing gives us a good indication of our overall level of doubles as a team. Although Audrey Ann and Kimmy didn't have the best day on the doubles court, we have been pleased with their competitiveness thus far and hopefully they will use today's loss as a source of hunger and motivation as we move forward."
Blakely was set to compete in the Flight B singles finals, but withdrew from the competition. Also in Flight B, Castro defeated Napolitano of Radford, 6-4, 7-6(6) and Amanda Wickman fell to Kahoun of Virginia Tech, 6-2, 6-2.
In Flight A, Washington and teammate Borza met up on the court in the consolation bracket as Washington took the win 6-1, 6-4.
Finally, in Flight C singles Lu had an impressive performance with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Domenech of Liberty in the consolation finals. Molly Wickman earned a hard-fought 6-2, 5-7, 1-0(8) win over Khan of James Madison and Ogungbesan dropped a tough 6-4, 4-6, 1-0(5) match to Gulsrud of Marshall.
"We made the decision as a coaching staff to pull Audrey Ann out of her singles final because we are at a stage where her overall development is far more important than the immediate result. Taylor and Amanda complemented each other with near perfection and were able to beat their opponents with efficient and clean tennis. Taylor's forehand in particular was a huge weapon today. Molly showed big heart all weekend and today she took steps to get better at internalizing her fire in the most positive manner. Jocelyn was our most improved player going from our first competition to today. We were very pleased to see that she is taking steps to become a more complete player. As a coaching staff we were proud of Katherine for being able to execute a game plan that she is not particularly comfortable with, but that will make her a better player down the line."
The Panthers will resume their fall competition on Oct. 11-13 at the USTA Tournament in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., after a weekend off.