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Blue Raiders begin fall campaign with strong effort

Three MT players post 2-0 records on opening day

September 17, 2011 · Athletic Communications

Updated Brackets (PDF)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Middle Tennessee women’s tennis team posted solid results throughout the day Saturday and set itself up for a chance at a number of flight championships during first and second action at the Blue Raider-hosted MT Shootout at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center.

“Overall, I am very pleased with how we played today, especially for this early in the season,” head coach Shelley Godwin said. “Everyone competed and our results show the hard work they have put in to this point. We are not going to be satisfied with today’s scores. We will come back tomorrow to continue our progression and improve each day.”

Three different Middle Tennessee players finished the day with 2-0 records in singles action, including sophomore transfer Flavia Nagayama. The newcomer, who transferred into the program from Jacksonville, won both of her matches in the Lightning Singles flight in her Blue Raider debut.

She defeated Belmont’s Carolyn Caire in the quarterfinals 6-1, 6-1, before advancing to Sunday’s flight championship with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Memphis’ Andrea Arques-Garcia. Nagayama will face Lipscomb’s Deahna Welcher in her final singles match Sunday.

Senior Marietta Bigus, last year’s team captain, also went undefeated on the first day as she participated in the White Singles bracket. Bigus handed Western Kentucky’s Carolina Barboza a 6-2, 6-0 setback in the quarterfinals and then dispatched Memphis’ Kelly Gray by a 7-6 (3), 6-1 score.

Bigus will compete in Sunday’s White Singles final Sunday against Memphis’ Stefanie Mikesz.

Senior Carla Nava moved into Sunday’s championship of the Blue Singles flight after garnering a pair of victories Saturday. She began the day with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph against Belmont’s Catherine Holliday and then followed it up with a come-from-behind, three-set decision against Memphis’ Tiffany Welcher by a 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 score.

Nava will square off against another Tiger in Sunday’s final, meeting Mariya Slupska, in the bracket championship.

Another senior, Taylor Coffey, also remained undefeated heading into final day action tomorrow. After earning a default decision to advance to the semifinals of the Raiders Singles flight, Coffey tallied a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Belmont’s Natalia Nunes to set up a bracket championship against Memphis’ Alyssa Hibberd.

Junior Yuiri Nomoto ended the day with a 1-1 record while playing in the Blue Singles flight. She opened action with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Lipscomb’s Alyssa Bellini before dropping a 6-1, 6-2 decision versus Slupska.

Nomoto will now face Memphis’ Tiffany Welcher in the bracket’s third-place match Sunday.

The first set of matches of the doubles round-robin flights also occurred Saturday. In group one, Nava and Nomoto defeated Weronika Kurka and Vanja Tomic of Austin Peay 8-4.

Group two Blue Raiders, Bigus and Coffey, registered an 8-3 triumph against Belmont’s Catherine Holliday and Nunes.

Middle Tennessee’s final pairing, group three’s Lexi Brand and Alex Dachos, also scored a win Saturday handing Western Kentucky’s Morgan Freeman and Katrina Vucina an 8-4 loss.

The two-day tournament at the Blue Raiders’ on-campus home facility will conclude Sunday with two more rounds of the double round-robin flights and another set of singles matches, including all flight championships. Action is slated to begin at 9 a.m.

Middle Tennessee Results

Blue Singles
Carla Nava def. Catherine Holliday (BEL) 6-2, 6-3
Carla Nava def. Tiffany Welcher (MEM) 6-7, 6-3, 6-3

Yuiri Nomoto def. Alyssa Bellini (LIP) 6-2, 6-3
Mariya Slupska (MEM) def. Yuiri Nomoto 6-1, 6-2


White Singles
Marietta Bigus def. Carolina Barboza (WKU) 6-2, 6-0
Marietta Bigus def. Kelly Gray (MEM) 7-6 (3), 6-1


Lightning Singles
Flavia Nagayama def. Caroline Caire (BEL) 6-1, 6-1
Flavia Nagayama def. Andrea Arques-Garcia (MEM) 6-3, 6-2


Raiders Singles
Taylor Coffey def. Madeline Phillips (WKU) by default
Taylor Coffey def. Natalia Nunes (BEL) 6-2, 6-0

Elizabeth Keevil (LIP) def. Alex Dachos by default


Group One Round-Robin Doubles
Nava/Nomoto def. Weronika Kurka/Vanja Tomic (APSU) 8-4

Group Two Round-Robin Doubles
Bigus/Coffey def. Holliday/Nunes (BEL) 8-3

Group Three Round-Robin Doubles
Lexi Brand/Dachos def. Morgan Freeman/Katrina Vucina (WKU) 8-4

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