WINSTON SALEM, N.C. (October 26, 2008 ) - After winning all three matches, Friday the ETSU women's tennis team was unable to maintain momentum as the Bucs were eliminated from further play at the ITA Mideast Regional, Saturday in Winston Salem, N.C.
"Overall, we had two girls reach the Round of 32 and a doubles team that reached the quarterfinals," said head coach Steve Brooks. "This region had some of the best players in the nation in it, but we just couldn't find a way to capitalize on some of the chance that were presented to us against them."
After going unbeaten in singles play for three straight days, senior Tara Byrne's (Johnson City) magical run came to an end, after dropping to top-seeded Sanaz Marand of North Carolina, 6-1, 6-2.
"Tara had a little trouble with Marand being left-handed," said Brooks. "Early in the match her return shots tended to be a little long, which put her behind. Marand is one of the most solid players in the nation and overall I though Tara did a good job competing against her. Tara just couldn't overcome that early deficit and you have to give credit to a high-ranked player like Marand, who took advantage of that opportunity."
Also in singles action for the Bucs was junior Yevgeniya Stupak (Kyiv, Ukraine), who dropped her Round of 32 match, losing to fourth seeded Reka Zslilinska of Duke 6-0, 6-1.
"The girl from Duke is a very good player," said Brooks. "She played a style that isn't typical and that really threw off Stupak today. In the match, Stupak made some mistake that she normally doesn't do. Anytime a player makes more errors then she is a custom to it's usually too tough to overcome."
Rounding out play for the Bucs was the ETSU duo of Stupak and freshman Paula Jamie (Madrid, Spain), who dropped their quarterfinal doubles match to fifth seeded Amanda Granson and Reka Zsilinskza of Duke 8-1.
"This weekend was a great experience," said Brooks. "We were a bit unlucky drawing two top-10 players but our doubles team beat a highly-ranked Vanderbilt team Friday, which should help us build some mometum as we move foward next weekend at Virginia Tech."