TCU Off and Running at ITA Texas Regionals

Millie Nichols won two three-set matches.

Millie Nichols won two three-set matches.

Oct. 21, 2011


FORT WORTH – TCU women’s tennis team recorded one of its finest performances in the program’s history Friday at the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championships at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

The Horned Frogs had five players advance to the Round of 32 in singles play and a doubles duo knock off a seeded-opponent that had yet to lose a match all fall.

“It’s our best first day in ITA regional play at TCU,” TCU coach Dave Borelli said. “Even when we had top-15 teams, we never had a day like this.”

TCU’s Federica Denti and Kelsey Sundaram, fresh off their victory at last week’s HEB Baylor Invitational, started the day on the right foot for the Frogs, scoring two victories in doubles play. The tandem rolled through the Round of 64 with an 8-3 dismissal of Rice’s Kim Anicete and Katie Gater.

Denti and Sundaram returned in the morning session for their second match and scored the upset of the tournament thus far when they knocked off seventh-seeded Tereza Bekerova and Malena Gordo of Stephen F. Austin. That squad had yet to lose a match during the fall.

“Kelsey and Federica continued to show their doubles ability upsetting a team that hasn’t lost during the fall,” Borelli said.

The Frogs made their most noise in singles play with five still alive in the main draw to play Saturday. In the Round of 128, TCU gutted out three-set wins in three lengthy matches. Olivia Smith rallied from behind in the third set to knock off Texas A&M’s Sun Wen, 6-1, 5-7, 7-5.

Sundaram continued the Frog rally in the Round of 128 when she dropped Wanda Beguelin of UT-Pan American, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3. After dropping the first set, Millie Nichols came back to win 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Smith and Nichols returned for the Round of 64 in the afternoon singles session to clinch their spots in tomorrow’s play. Smith, a Bath, England, native, made quick work of Juliana Gajic of Texas, 6-3, 6-2. Nichols added another three set victory for the Frogs with her 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 downing of Texas A&M’s Lauren Santacroce.

 It’s significant that Millie and Olivia were able to win because they haven’t been playing a whole lot,” Borelli said. “They’ve been battling injuries and working through some things. Plus we went 4-for-4 in three-set matches.”

TCU’s three players that received byes in the singles draw each moved on to play Saturday as well. No. 10-seed Stefanie Tan easily moved on to the next round with her 6-1, 6-2 win over Texas’s Carlene Leyden. Simona Parajova added a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Leah Fried (Rice), while Denti was a 7-5, 6-0 winner over Giada D’Ortona (UTA).

“The freshmen showed me a lot,” Boreli said. “I’ve never been terribly concerned with what we do in the fall. Everything we do is for the spring, but right now is showing improvement. It’s a great step toward being a top-20 program again. We showed today we have a lot of depth. We’re good at doubles and we’ll continue to get better.”

TCU returns to action Saturday morning with play in the main and consolation draws of doubles as well as both draws of singles.

USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championship – Fort Worth, Texas
Round of 128
Olivia Smith (TCU) def. Sun Wen (Texas A&M), 6-1, 5-7, 7-5
Kelsey Sundaram (TCU) def. Wanda Beguelin (UTPA), 4-6, 7-6, 6-3
Millie Nichols (TCU) def. Ana Guzman (Rice), 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
Nikola Matovicova (UTA) def. Molly Welsh (TCU), 6-0, 6-0
Isabel Bos (Sam Houston State) def. Gaby Fernandez (TCU), 6-3, 6-2

Round of 64
No. 10 Stefanie Tan (TCU) def. Carlene Leyden (Texas), 6-1, 6-2
Simona Parajova (TCU) def. Leah Fried (Rice), 6-1, 6-2
Federica Denti (TCU) def. Giada D’Ortona (UTA), 7-5, 6-0
Nichols TCU) def. Lauren Santacroce (Texas A&M), 7-6, 2-6, 6-3
Smith (TCU) def. Juliana Gajic (Texas), 6-3, 6-2
Elizabeth Begley (Texas) def. Sundaram (TCU), 6-2, 6-1

Round of 64
Federica Denti/Kesley Sundaram (TCU) def. Kim Anicete/Katie Gater (Rice), 8-3
Ilona Serchenko/Barbora Vykydalova (North Texas) def. Simona Parajova/Stefanie Tan (TCU), 8-5
Kseniya Bardabush/Valentina Starkova (North Texas) def. Gaby Fernandez/Molly Welsh (TCU), 8-2

Round of 32
No. 6 Millie Nichols/Olivia Smith (TCU) def. Celia Fraser/Charlotte Phillips (Houston), 8-3
Denti/Sundaram (TCU) def. No. 7 Tereza Bekerova/Malena Gordo (Stephen F. Austin), 8-6

Consolation Second Round
Parajova/Tan (TCU) def. Carlene Leyden/Maya Zein-El-Abdin (Texas), 9-8
Fernandez/Welsh (TCU) def. Isabel Bos/Natalie Petaia (Sam Houston State), 8-6



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