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Blue Raiders Prepare for Final Fall Tournament

Women's tennis plays in June Stewart Invitational in Nashville

October 19, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's women's tennis team takes part in its final fall tournament this weekend at the June Stewart Invitational in Nashville, Tenn., a tournament featuring host Vanderbilt as well as Arizona State, Florida International, Wisconsin, Louisville, Western Kentucky and Belmont.

The Blue Raiders and second-year head coach Alison Ojeda came away with very positive results at last week's ITA Southeast Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C., posting four doubles victories in the main draw and senior Hala Sufi advancing all the way to the semifinals in singles.

Sufi's run is the best in school history in the regional championships, as no other female player had ever advanced further than the second round.

Sufi sports an 6-2 mark this fall in singles with losses to Georgia's 21st-ranked Natalie Frazier and Tennessee's Blakeley Griffith. Junior Ann-Kristin Siljestrom is 3-2 this fall in singles after falling in qualifying at the regional tournament, while sophomore Elvira Yusupova has a 3-1 singles mark.

Ojeda made adjustments to the doubles pairings and the move paid off at last week's event.

Sufi and junior Claudia Szabo were the only twosome to remain partners and won twice before falling in the Round of 16. Siljestrom and sophomore Marlene Chemin as well as sophomore Pooja Kommireddi and freshman Stephanie Parkison both were 1-1 at the tournament.

"I'm excited because it's our last tournament but also because the girls have an understanding of how to train and how to play their matches after seeing many of the top teams in the nation last weekend at the regional tournament," Ojeda said.

"The girls understand why we're so tough on them and this week has been absolutely incredible. It's the best four straight days of practice since I've been here. This will be a tough tournament, but our team is playing better than they have all fall."

Full results from the event may be found at vucommodores.com.

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