Senior claims regional championship and earns Sportsmanship Award
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (October 19, 2011) – Senior Paula Jaime (Madrid, Spain) defeated Memphis’ Kelly Gray 6-3, 7-5 on Monday to complete her run through the consolation bracket and win the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Back Draw Regional Championship.
Jaime’s victory claimed the first regional title in the history of the ETSU women’s tennis team.
“[Jaime] had a fantastic tournament,” said ETSU assistant coach Travis Sandlant. “I think if she didn’t pull the No. 1 seed in the first round then she might have had a deeper run in the main draw, but she still played some incredible tennis and we’re very pleased with her performance.”
After falling to the Regional’s No. 1 seed, Natalie Pluskota, on day one of the tournament, Jaime began play in the consolation bracket. On Sunday, the senior took out UT Martin’s Winkelmann 6-0, 6-0 in the morning session before defeating Kentucky’s Morin 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the afternoon round.
The two victories pushed Jaime through to the back draw quarterfinals, where she awaited another Wildcat, Khristina Blajkevitch. In the first of three matches for Jaime on Monday, the senior defeated Blajkevitch in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, to advance to the semifinals against her third-consecutive opponent from Kentucky. The Wildcats’ Stephanie Fox suffered the same fate as her teammates, as Jaime defeated Fox 7-5, 6-1 to advance to the finals and eventually win.
Through her run in the back draw, Jaime dropped just one set, the second against Blakevitch, while winning four matches in straight sets.
Jaime also walked away from the regional tournament with the Sportsmanship Award. The award, voted on by the Tournament Committee and officials, is given to one student-athlete for displaying outstanding sportsmanship and exemplifying the spirit of college tennis throughout the course of the championships.
“To win quality matches against opponents from Kentucky and Memphis shows how well [Jaime] was playing,” added Sandlant. “She kept her composure throughout the tournament, which is very hard to do against these tough teams.
“Not only did she play well, but she was looked upon by her peers as having great sportsmanship. She definitely deserved the Sportsmanship Award for the region this week and I think if she performs like this in the spring then she will have a great year.”
The ETSU women’s tennis team continues the fall season on Friday, October 28, at the College of Charleston Invitational in Charleston, S.C.
For more information on ETSU tennis please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.