by Agueda Trujillo-Fernandez
Idaho Public Radio
The Idaho Vandals women´s tennis team closed out its fall season in November and now players are getting ready for conference games.
The Vandals played their last fall matches at two tournaments at Gonzaga University in Spokane, the Gonzaga Bulldog Invitational the weekend of November 4-6, and the Gonzaga Invitational the weekend of November 11-13.
At the Gonzaga Bulldog Invitational, the Vandals swept the doubles titles, with sophomore Marianna Petrei going 6-0 in singles and doubles to win both A flights. Idaho also captured the tournament’s two other doubles championships, completing the sweep. Petrei and Lucia Badillos played well in the doubles competition and won the A flight doubles championship.
Sophomore Maria Tavares was a combined 5-1 on the weekend, advancing to the finals of the singles B flight. Tavares and Ana Batiri paired up in B flight doubles and won the title.
At the Gonzaga Invitational, the Vandals recorded seven singles and three doubles wins during the tournament.
“We had a very competitive weekend playing against a tough field from the Pac 12 and West Coast Conference,” said Idaho interim coach Abid Akbar. “Everyone showed improvements in both singles and doubles. As a team we are not playing to our potential yet. We have a long way to go, but we will work hard and be ready for the spring.”
Petrei continued to lead the Vandals on the court throughout the tournament, finishing second at the Gonzaga Invitational. Earlier in October, the sophomore also earned the invite to the elite Oracle/ITA Masters after going 11-0 in conference play as a freshman last year.
“Marianna continued to show us that she can compete with the best in the nation,” Akbar said.
(Marianna Petrei photo courtesy Vandal Athletics)
Also at the Gonzaga Invitational, Tavares closed the weekend seventh overall with a +13 differential, finishing the weekend 2-1 overall with wins over Portland and Gonzaga.
Petrei and Badillos finished 2-1 in doubles action with a +2 differential, fifth overall.
Idaho now has a break from matches until January 28 when the team will take on the University of Wyoming in Moscow. This will be the first home match since last April.
The Vandals will play their first Big Sky Conference game against Portland State on February 4th in Portland. Idaho dominated 6 to 1 against Portland State last spring.
Idaho finished with a 19-9 overall record last year making it to the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Big Sky tournament will be hosted in Sacramento this year, from April 28th to April 30th, and the Vandals will look to win their fourth conference title in five years.
Posted December 15, 2016