Vandal women compete hard at Jack Taylor invite
The Boise State Jack Taylor Inivitational is a challenging tournament and this weekend the Vandal women’s tennis team won some tough matches and gained valuable experience.
Ale Lozano, Bety Flores, Constance Alexander, and Rita Bermudez are the four Vandals who took the always-anticipated trip down to Bronco territory.
Idaho was unable to win any of the flights they competed in, but after tough first round losses, a couple of the ladies came back firing hard in the consolation round, pulling off huge wins.
Flores, a junior, had an impressive win in the first round against a Utah State’s number one player from last year, Jaci West, who was an All-WAC selection. She then beat Montana State’s Iva Parapunova in a three-set battle but was forced to withdraw from the tournament after one round of play in the semi-finals.
“It was great to see Bety play some quality tennis against high-level opponents,” coach Daniel Pollock said. “It was unfortunate she had to withdraw as I felt she was really starting to roll.”
Fellow junior Lozano lost in the main flight to Sara Lucas from Seattle but would not leave the tournament empty-handed as she picked up some wins in consolation play. After a first-round bye, Lozano defeated Lexi Siliol from Eastern Washington and Thais Kurer from Weber State, both 6-2, 6-3. She then fell to Adriana Wajakowska from Colorado State 6-4, 6-2 in the consolation final.
Pollock said Lozano looked like she was starting to find her feet. He was also impressed with Alexander and Bermudez, regardless of their first round losses.
“Our newcomers showed flashes of great play, they just need more match practice to be able to hold their level at important points and get rid of the nerves you feel when you join a new team,” Pollock said.
Bermudez did taste victory this weekend though when she teamed up with Lozano for doubles play and they went 2-2 on the weekend. The victories were over a Seattle University team and a Weber State team.
Alexander and Lozano paired up and won their first round 8-4 against Kasey Bacon and Madelyn Weltzin from Idaho State before losing two straight.
Overall Pollock was pleased with how Idaho performed at the Jack Taylor Invitational and said they got what they needed at this point in the season.
“We got a lot of long, tough competitive matches against strong opponents and we learned what we have to do with this group of players to be ready for the spring season,” Pollock said. “We’ll start working on that immediately.”
The Vandals’ next chance to shine will be Oct. 10-14 at another high-level tournament, the ITA Mountain Regional in Las Vegas.
Charles Crowley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org