Bowling Green State University tennis standout Emily Reuland captured a title at a prestigious event over the weekend. Reuland won the women's singles championship at the 2012 ITA Summer Circuit event in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Reuland, who will be a junior on head coach Penny Dean's 2012-13 BGSU team, had a first-round bye on Saturday (July 14), then defeated Sydney Liggins, a high-school player, losing only two total games. She posted a straight-sets win over Xavier's Alex Brinker, then topped Lauren Caballero of Samford in a pair of 7-5 sets Sunday morning (July 15) to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinal round, Reuland knocked off Notre Dame's Jennifer Kellner, the tournament's second seed. Kellner has an overall singles record of 51-14 in her first two years witih the Fighting Irish. Reuland captured a 6-4 win in the opening set, saw Kellner respond with a 6-2 decision in the second, then bounced back with a 10-7 victory in a third-set mini-tiebreaker.
That win put Reuland into Monday morning's (July 16) semifinal round, and she topped UNC Greensboro's Niltooli Wilkins, the tourney's third-seeded player, in straight sets. Reuland captured a first-set tiebreaker, then won a 6-4 second set to advance to the final.
Monday afternoon's championship match saw Reuland defeat Sara Remynse, a rising high-school senior. Reuland won the first set, but dropped the second, with each set finishing with a 6-4 score. The BGSU junior emerged victorious in the tiebreaker to capture the match and the tournament title.
"Emily had an amazing ITA Tournament in Kalamazoo," said Dean. "All tournament long, she played an aggressive baseline and was successful with it."
The singles bracket featured a total of 83 players, and BG's two competitors were the lone players to close with victories. Nikki Chiricosta, who like Reuland is a rising junior, lost to Virginia's Molly O'Koniewski in second-round action, but advanced through the consolation bracket without another defeat. She closed with a pair of wins in straight sets, losing just one total game against Abby Perkins and downing Audrey O'Connor in the minimum two sets in the back-draw final.
In doubles play, Chiricosta and Reuland formed one of 34 teams entered in the tourney. The BG duo advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round before succumbing.
Nearly 30,000 men and women have competed in ITA Summer Circuit events since it began in 1993. The circuit provides college (and junior and alumni) players the opportunity to compete in organized events virtually year round. Although the primary focus of the circuit is to provide incoming freshmen and collegiate players the chance to compete in the summer months, for NCAA compliance purposes, the events within the ITA Summer Circuit are categorized as "open"; therefore anyone is eligible to compete in these events as long as he/she is a current ITA member.
The ITA Summer Circuit is currently made up of eight regional circuits (East, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Central, Mountain, Texas and West) consisting of four consecutive open tournaments played during the month of July, leading up to the USTA/ITA National Summer Championships in Bloomington, Indiana in August. The Kalamazoo event is part of the Midwest regional circuit.
"These were great results for us," said Dean. "Emily's title is a Bowling Green tennis 'first' and our entire tennis family is proud of her accomplishment. We will use this as an inspiration for our fall season."
Chiricosta and Reuland are two of six returnees – including seniors Maddy Eccleston, Katie Grubb, Mary Hill and Jade Johnson – for Dean and assistant coach Cindy Yonker. They will be joined by a pair of talented freshman in Katie Brozovich and Drew Fillis on the 2012-13 roster.