The Air Force women’s tennis team opened its 2012-13 season Friday at the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. Two Falcons, freshman Tiffany Tran and senior Melissa Cecil, won two singles matches apiece and will play in the semifinals of their respective bracket on Saturday. Meanwhile, three of AFA’s four doubles won their match on Friday.
Tran swept through her two singles matches in the top flight in straight sets. She opened with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Nino Mebuke of Eastern Michigan, then downed Julia Courter of Minnesota, 6-4, 6-2. She will face Diana Davitaia of Eastern Michigan in the semis on Saturday. Cecil, meanwhile, had a little more difficult time in winning her two matches in the “B” flight. She rallied to beat Kelsey Frechette of Minnesota, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the first round before beating Chelsea Bailey of UW-Milwaukee, 7-6(4), 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Cecil will play Christina Harazin of Iowa on Saturday.
Sophomore Natasha Rizvi won her first-round match in the “B” flight, defeating Alex McDonald of Northern Iowa before narrowly falling to Minnesota’s Jessika Mozia, 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in the second round.
In doubles, Cecil and fellow senior Hannah Dake beat the team of Harazin and Annette Dohanics of Iowa, 8-2, while Rizvi and senior Christine Molina beat Laurel Krebsbach and Maddie Lindstrom of Gustavus Adolphus, 8-0. Both matches were in the top doubles flight. In the “B” flight, junior Anastasia Hueffner and sophomore Marcelli Magday downed Angie Lorenzen and Kyle Ketcho of St. Catherine’s, 8-3, in the first round.
“We had a very good first day, especially with our doubles,” said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. “Our players really executed well and had a lot of energy. In singles we battled hard and fell short in a few matches that we played well enough to win. This is a long three days in a tough tournament, so this will be a big indicator of where we are this early in the season. Everyone on the team won a match, which is pretty big in a tournament like this.”
Saturday’s doubles matches begin at 9 a.m., followed by another round of singles play.