Blacksburg, Va. (Oct. 8, 2004) - The East Tennessee State women's tennis team advanced Mariia Ilina (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Muriel Sherwood (Atlanta, Ga.) to the semifinals of their respective brackets in the first day of competition of the Hokie Fall Invitational. The tournament runs from Oct. 8-10 at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on the Virginia Tech campus and features players from Appalachian State, East Tennessee State, James Madison, Radford, Winthrop and Virginia Tech.
In flight A ETSU had three participants Sandie Knight (Adamstown, Australia), Elena Volobueva (Barcelona, Spain), and Sylwia Ziolkowska (Warsaw, Poland). Knight and Ziolkowska each one their first round matches, but fell in the second round of competition. Volobueva fought hard in the first round against ASU's Lyndsey Free, but would fall in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Jewel Aldea (Charleston, S.C.), Gemma Halim (Jakarta, Indonesia), and Ilina represented ETSU in flight B. Ilina advanced to the semifinals after two wins. The first a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Frances Blanton of ASU and the second a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Kate Harrington of VT. Up next for Ilina is Winthrop's Renata Caceres, who she will face tomorrow afternoon.
Halim won her first match of the tournament against Ashley Reyher of James Madison, 6-0, 6-2. But in the second round fell to Jessica Long of VT 6-2, 6-1. Aldea fell in the first round to Gabriela Carvalho of VT.
Sherwood who saw her first action on the courts as a Buccaneer represented ETSU in flight C. She took out Lea Ackenbom of VT in her first match 6-0, 7-6 (4) and then Jessica Nixon of Radford 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals. Her next match is tomorrow against Julia Facchina of VT
In doubles action, all of ETSU's players garnered wins. In flight A, Aldea and Halim earned an 8-5 win over ASU's Blanton and Moody, Ilina and Ziolkowska earned an 8-2 win over Radford's Milano and Noldin, and Knight and Volobueva earned an 8-4 win over James Madison's Veith and Vanderelst. In flight B, Sherwood competed with Winthrop's Moita and won their first match against Bartok and Slagel of VT 8-1.
ETSU continues Hokie Fall Tournament action tomorrow beginning at 9 a.m. with two rounds of doubles to be followed by one round of singles starting mid-afternoon. The finals will be played on Sunday with doubles matches at 9 a.m. followed by the singles finals in all events.