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Women's Tennis Heads to ITA Championships

Returns to action for first time in four weeks

October 11, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's women's tennis team returns to action this weekend for the first time in almost a month, taking part in the ITA Southeast Championships in Chapel, N.C. The tournament is the qualifier for the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November in Columbus, Ohio and will be Middle Tennessee's only fall event played indoors.

Senior Hala Sufi has a spot in main draw singles, while juniors Claudia Szabo and Ann-Kristin Siljestrom will both play in qualifying singles. Sophomores Marlene Chemin, Elvira Yusupova and Pooja Kommireddi and freshman Stephanie Parkison are alternates for the qualifying as well.

In main draw doubles action, Sufi-Szabo will face Longwood's Romana Bucur and Elena Triebskorn, while Chemin-Siljestrom takes on East Tennessee's Olya Batsula and Tara Byrne and Kommireddi-Parkison plays Liberty's Ekaterina Kuznetsova and Jonaita Randolph, with all three matches Thursday afternoon.

Qualifying singles action begins Thursday morning and requires a player to win two matches Thursday to advance to the main draw that starts Friday.

Szabo will face Davidson's Michele Fanney at 8 a.m. ET Thursday and with a win would face either N.C. State's Berkeley Brock or UNC-Greensboro's Valerie Behr at Noon.

Siljestrom faces Tennessee's Caitlin Whoriskey at 10 a.m. Thursday and with a victory would take on the winner of UNC-Greensboro's Erica Zabkar and South Carolina's Megan McGavock.

In the main draw Sufi will face a qualifier in the first round and with a win would take on the winner of Wake Forest's Alexandra Hirsch and Davidson's Teresa Wang Saturday in the second round.

Head coach Alison Ojeda said her squad must make adjustments to playing indoors at this weekend's tournament.

"Indoors is a much faster pace. Players have to be more patient and their fitness is affected a little bit because they must take a shorter backswing and stay down longer with their legs," Ojeda said. "They have to be more compact, short and sweet, with their strokes."

She said her club has continued to work everyday on fundamentals

"We're trying to maximize their capabilities on a daily basis because when you try to do more than that, you just force errors and then that causes a setback in your game and development. The girls have done a great job of working each and every day and we're moving in the right direction. They just have to continue to stay within themselves and make the necessary adjustments from match to match, both physically and mentally, in order to win," Ojeda said.

Draws for the tournament may be found at http://www.tennisinformation.com/tourny/5/1/7/0/7/7/0/default.asp.

Middle Tennessee concludes its fall schedule June 20-22 at the June Stewart Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.

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