Oct. 7, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Five members of the Auburn women’s tennis team posted 15 total victories and freshman Ashley Kitchen won her draw over the weekend at the 25th annual Roberta Alison Classic hosted by the University of Alabama.
“The competition this weekend was really tough,” Auburn women’s tennis head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “It is never easy to play three tough matches in two days, but we did it. I’m pleased with the results. The girls did really well this weekend. I’m really proud of Ashley Kitchen for winning her draw. I’m just really happy with how the girls handled the tough level of competition and their continued development this fall.”
Playing in the “Orange” draw, Kitchen knocked off Georgia Tech’s Natasha Prokhenvska 6-3, 6-2 in her opening match. She then followed up with a 6-4, 6-1 dispatching of Flavia Nagayama (MTSU). In the draw championship, the South Carolina native dropped Kristina Schleich from Florida State for a hard fought 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 three-set victory.
Fellow freshman Maria Cardenas Conti earned an opening win 5-7, 7-6, 6-1over Belinda Niu (Northwestern) in the top flight. The native Venezuelan came up short in the next round, but rebounded to finish her singles weekend with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jasmine Minor from Georgia Tech.
In her first singles action of the season, Emily Flickinger advanced all the way to her flight championship game before falling to Courtney Colton from Vanderbilt, 3-6, 2-6. Along the way, the sophomore downed Alicia Barnett (Northwestern) 6-3, 6-4 and Sarah Lee (Michigan) 6-0, 7-5.
Senior Paulina Schippers secured one victory in the “Blue” draw by topping Whitney Bird from Georgia Tech, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. After falling in her first match, fellow senior Plamena Kurteva rebounded with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Liem van Geel from Mississippi State.
Auburn doubles tandem Flickinger and Schippers battled to its draw final before falling to a team from Clemson. The duo opened with a 8-4 win over Masa Grgen and Jocelyn Ffriend (Georgia State), 8-4, and followed up with a narrow 9-7 win over Northwestern’s Belinda Niu and Alicia Barnett.
Playing as a pair for the first time, Kitchen and Cardenas Conti dropped their first match. The duo then rebounded for a 9-7 victory over Whitney Byrd and Linn Timmermann of Georgia State. Kurteva played in a mixed pairing with Alabama’s Maya Jansen and went on to win the “Bronze” draw with three victories, culminating with an 8-1 throttling of Florida State’s Laurence Porry and Kristina Schleich.
Auburn’s next action is scheduled for October 19-22 back in Tuscaloosa at the ITA Regional Championships. For the latest on Auburn women’s tennis, follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUWomensTennis.