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Oct. 8, 2011

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Several members of Pitt’s women’s tennis team advanced to the semifinals after the first day of action in the 2011 Martha Thorn Invitational held at West Virginia University on Friday.

Seven Panthers earned first-round wins in singles action. Leading Pitt in Flight B was freshman Molly Wickman, who tallied two wins to post a berth in the semifinals on Saturday. First, Wickman defeated Judy Li (Duquesne) in straight sets. Wickman gave up just one game and finished the match with scores of 6-0, 6-1. Then, she advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Paula Gruber (Duquesne). Wickman faces top-seeded Emily Lauten (Virginia Tech) on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

In another Flight B match, freshman Amanda Wickman upset second-seeded Kara Sherwood (Cleveland State). Then in the quarterfinals, Wickman took the first set, 6-4, from Veronica Cardenas (WVU). However, she was outlasted in the next two frames, 7-5 and 6-2 in the match. Wickman will play Chandler Consonary (Duq) at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

All three of the Panthers competing in Flight C of the singles advanced to the semifinals. Senior Minh Evans posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Danielle Oslo (Duq) and plays sophomore Kimmy Borza at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow. Borza battled back to win a tiebreaker over Alex Power (CSU) in the quarterfinals.

Rounding out the bracket, sophomore Karma Parbhu defeated Airlissa Tobe (Duq). Parbhu meets Catie Wickline (WVU) at 10: 30 a.m. tomorrow.

In the top flight of singles, sophomore Jocelyn Lu advanced to the quarterfinals with a straight-set victory over West Virginia’s Mells Tank. Lu earned the win with scores of 7-5 and 6-4. She later fell 6-2, 6-1 to Tea Ivanovic (Virginia Tech). Lu will play Vanessa Steiner (Duquesne) at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Junior Gabrielle Catanzariti recorded a first-round victory after she outlasted her opponent, Kelsey Becker (Ohio State) with scores of 6-2 and 7-5. Catanzariti would then drop a match to the Mountaineers ‘ Emily Mathis (6-2, 6-4). She faces Ikttesh Chahal of West Virginia on Saturday.

Sophomore Taylor Washington dropped her first-round match to Kate Blow (VT) with scores of 6-1, 6-2. Washington would later move to the quarterfinals of the consolation bracket and post a win over Lauren Hankle (YSU) with two 6-4 sets. Washington faces Sherwood (CSU) at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

In doubles action, Washington and Lu teamed together in the top flight. The duo earned an 8-4 victory over Chahal/Mathis (WVU). The Panthers face a doubles pair from Duquesne at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Amanda and Molly Wickman will play a semifinal match against West Virginia at 3 p.m. in Flight B of doubles after winning two matches on Friday. The twins first defeated a pair from CSU. They followed that performance with an 8-4 victory over a doubles team from Duquesne.

In another quarterfinal win, Borza and Catanzariti advanced to the semifinals with an 8-2 victory over the second-seeded pair from Youngstown State in Flight B. Pitt faces a doubles team from CSU at 3 p.m.

Rounding out the Panthers in doubles action, Evans and Parbhu dropped an 8-3 decision to a top-seeded pair from West Virginia. Evans and Parbhu await their opponent for a 3 p.m. match on Saturday.

Women's Tennis Completes Day One of the Martha Thorn Invitational.

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