The Kenyon women’s tennis team hosted its annual Kenyon College Invitational this past weekend. The invitational, which is divided into eight singles flights and four doubles flights, saw competitors from seven different schools during the two-day event. The Ladies were looking to recreate their success from last year’s invitational, where they won three flights in both singles and doubles.
The Ladies were able to secure victory in Flight D and Flight E, both at the hands of first-year players. Daria Beshentseva ’22 won Flight D, which was full of Kenyon competition.
After winning her first match on default, Beshentseva handed Annie Reiner ’19 a 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 loss in the semifinals and went on to face Anna Winslow ’22 in the finals. Winslow had won her previous two matches by scores of 6-1, 4-6, 10-5 and 6-1, 6-3. The final ended after two sets by scores of 7-6 and 6-4.
Sofia Alonso ’22, the winner of Flight E, came from behind in her semifinal match after dropping the first set 6-7, going on to win the second set by a score of 6-2. Then she finished off her opponent in the tie-break, 10-6. Alonso’s finals match was also a hard-fought victory, with her narrowly securing a 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 victory.
While no Ladies were victorious in any other flights, they were competitive across the board. In Flight C, Ilana Blackwood ’21 reached the finals after handily securing victories in her first round and seminal matches, winning 6-4, 6-2 and 6-4, 6-4 respectively. However, in the finals, Blackwood fell to Carnegie Mellon University’s Alex Iordache 7-6, 6-2.
Meanwhile, in Flight F, Ceylan Can ’21 was able to bounce back from a disappointing first-round defeat and reach the consolation bracket finals. There, Can prevailed through two hard-fought sets to secure a 7-6, 7-6 victory.
In the doubles section of the invitational, Blackwood and Beshentseva secured a spot in the finals with victories over Ohio Wesleyan University (8-4) and Centre College (8-1) in eight game pro sets. After a hard fought final, the duo was defeated by a team from Carnegie Mellon University (9-7).
Throughout the entire tournament, the Ladies were able to achieve a 14-9 singles record and a 5-7 doubles record for a combined 19-14 record.
“I believe the most positive takeaway from this invitational would be the opportunity to play competitively as a team before Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regional Championships this upcoming weekend,” Kayla Pukys ’21 said. “ITA is a huge focus of the fall season and having this opportunity to see what we need to work on and see how well we work as a team with the newly included freshman is a huge advantage for us.”
The Ladies will travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. from Sept. 21 to 23 to take part in the ITA Regional Championship.