Bulldog Women's Tennis Shines at USTA/ITA Division III West Regional Championships

Natalie Etchegaray advanced to the quarterfinals of the Main Singles Draw last weekend.
Natalie Etchegaray advanced to the quarterfinals of the Main Singles Draw last weekend.

The University of Redlands women's tennis team enjoyed its only fall competition at the 2013 USTA/ITA Division III West Regional Championships over the weekend in Claremont.  The Bulldogs garnered players in semifinals of both main draws to go along with finalists in three of the consolation brackets, revealing excellent depth and talent for the upcoming spring season.

Picking up right where they left off as the team's Nos. 1 and 2 singles players, senior Jessica Ly (Torrance, CA) and sophomore Natalie Etchegaray (Placentia, CA) both advanced to the quarterfinals of the Main Singles Draw. 

Seeded third, Ly posted an impressive 6-0, 6-2 victory against a foe from Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in the opening round.  She went on to secure straight-set triumphs over players from UC Santa Cruz (6-4, 6-1) and Chapman University (6-1, 6-1), before coming up short against an opponent from Pomona-Pitzer by scores of 6-3, 6-3.

Etchegaray, seeded fourth, shut out a player from the University of La Verne in her first-round match, which set the stage for another solid performance in the Round of 32, as she knocked off a player from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, 6-0, 6-4.   She prevailed over a Pomona-Pitzer competitor by scores of 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, but came up short in another extended match during the quarterfinals.

The duo also joined efforts in doubles, advancing all the way to the semifinals of the Main Draw.  After shutting out their first-round opponents from Pomona-Pitzer, the tandem recorded an impressive 8-1 victory over a team from CMS.  They entered the semifinals with another lopsided showing, posting an 8-2 effort over another duo from CMS.  Finally, the momentum stopped in the semifinals, as the Bulldogs lost to the eventual champions from Pomona-Pitzer.

Senior Paige Press (La Jolla, CA) and freshman Emily Murnin (Salt Lake City, UT) also shined at the tournament, earning spots in their respective final of the consolation brackets. After falling in the first round of the Main Draw, Murnin made her Bulldog debut a memorable one by recording wins over players from CMS (6-1, 6-0), UC Santa Cruz (6-0, 6-0), Whittier (6-4, 6-4), and CMS (6-0, 7-6(4)).  Although she lost the final in three sets, she provided an excellent showing for the Maroon and Gray.

Press posted a shutout victory in her opening match of the Main Draw before coming up short against a seeded opponent.  This placed her in the Second-Round Consolation Bracket, where she advanced to the final with outstanding effort.  She topped a CLU player (7-5, 6-2), edged a foe from UC Santa Cruz (6-2, 2-6, 10-9), before prevailing over another Banana Slug competitor (6-2, 6-2).

Sophomores Gabriela Vasquez (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) and Lauren Villanueva (El Segundo, CA) also earned a spot in the final, advancing through the Second-Round Consolation Bracket.  After defeating a duo from Whittier in the Main Draw, 8-6, they ran into a ranked tandem, which sent them to the consolation bracket.  Following a first-round bye, the Bulldogs recorded a tight 9-7 performance over players from Cal Lutheran to advance to the final.

The Bulldogs have one more week of training during the non-traditional season before embarking upon the spring campaign on January 20, 2014.