CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Nov. 10, 2006) - The ETSU women's tennis team began play today at the Kitty Harrison Invitational, hosted by the University of North Carolina. The Lady Bucs advanced four in the first round of singles competition and all three doubles teams will continue to compete in the consolation brackets.
In the Blue singles, Yevgeniya Stupak (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Olya Batsula (Minsk, Belarus) advanced to the round of 16 after winning their first round matches. Stupak blanked Elizabeth Ardeva of Kansas, 6-0, 6-0. She will face Sanaz Marand of host school North Carolina. Batsula defeated Emily Wade of former SoCon rival UNC-Greensboro in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
Also in the Blue singles, senior Masha Ilina (Kyiv, Ukraine) fell to Katrina Tsang of North Carolina, 6-0, 6-2 and will face No. 108 Joelle Schwenk of Kentucky in tomorrow's consolation action.
Competing in the Carolina singles, freshman Brittany Stewart (Brentwood, Tenn.) defeated Jessica Eblen of Greensboro, 6-4, 4-6, 1-0(6). She will take on Anna Volkova of Marshall on Saturday.
Local native Tara Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) defeated William and Mary's Barb Zidek in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 in the White singles. Byrne will face Meg Fanjoy of North Carolina in Saturday's action. Freshman Whitney Trotter (Guadalajara, Mexico) fell to Jessica Keener of Marshall, 6-3, 6-1. She will receive a bye in the first round of consolation and will face either Courtney Akel of Greensboro or Meredith Skeeters of Davidson.
The Lady Bucs started the day off in doubles action as the Ukrainian duo of Stupak and Ilina fell after a hard fought match to No. 8 Carolina Escamilla and Whitney Spencer of Kentucky, 9-7. In the first round of consolation action they defeated Blakely Ashley and Ivana King of Princeton, 8-6. They will face the ITA Central-East Regional champions Elizabeth Ardeva and Edina Horvath of Kansas tomorrow for third place.
In the Tarheels bracket Stewart and Trotter fell to Stephanie Smith and Yuliana Svistun of Kansas, 8-1 after a first round bye. They will take on Davidson's Ali Gores and Emily Wilkinson.
Competing in the White doubles bracket Batsula and Byrne fell to Ragini Acharya and Magda Bresson of William and Mary, 8-6 before defeating Valerie Behr and Lisa Suggs of Greensboro, 8-2 in consolation. The duo will take on Lynzee Kever and Jeanne Schwartz of Marshall.
"Overall, I think we played pretty strong. We beat all the people we were supposed to beat and beat some teams that we might not have thought we could," said head coach Steve Brooks. "I felt good about our play today and hopefully tomorrow we will have another good day."
The ETSU women's tennis team will continue play in the Kitty Harrison Invitational Saturday, with the two rounds of singles action and the final doubles matches. For more information on the Lady Bucs tennis team, visit www.etsubucs.com.