DUBLIN, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University tennis team opened the 2012-13 season on a successful note Friday (Sept. 14). Four members of the Falcons competed at the Muirfield Collegiate Tennis Invitational, combining for a 4-3 mark against tough competition.
The three-day, seven-team event is being held at The Country Club at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. Ohio State is hosting the tourney, which also includes participants from Akron, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky and Louisville, in addition to BGSU.
Four members of head coach Penny Dean's team are participating in the event. That group includes senior Maddy Eccleston, juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland and freshman Katie Brozovich.
"Everybody played well today," said Dean. "We are off to a good start in a tournament that features tough competition. Every player here is very good, and we had some good results."
Chiricosta started her season on a high note, posting a come-from-behind win over OSU's Kelsey Becker. After dropping the first set by a 6-4 result, Chiricosta came roaring back for a 6-1 win in the second set. Then, she downed Becker, 12-10, in a third-set super tiebreaker.
"Nikki did a great job to grind out a win," said Dean. "She battled back after losing the first set, then battled back after falling behind, 9-7, in the tiebreaker. She and her opponent played some very long points, and Nikki really worked hard for her win."
Reuland, like Chiricosta, also picked up a first-round win, downing EKU's Melissa Gerritson in straight sets on Friday. She will meet OSU's Kelsey Dieters, the third seed in the singles bracket, in Saturday's second round.
All Brozovich did in her collegiate debut was pick up a straight-sets win, then battle one of the Mid-American Conference's top players to a third-set tiebreaker. Brozovich toppled UC's Caitlin O'Gara in a play-in match, losing only four total games in the process. Then, against Akron's Prang Pantusart, the BG freshman won her opening set before dropping the second set. In the tiebreaker, Brozovich fell by a narrow 10-6 final.
"Katie played a great match against one of the top players on the defending MAC Tournament champions," said Dean. "We didn't give her a ton of information about her opponents; we just let her go out there and see what she could do. Katie just goes out and plays, and she did a great job."
In doubles play, BGSU's juniors, Chiricosta and Reuland, posted an 8-1 win over the Tachovsky/Shine team from Louisville, while Eccleston and Brozovich lost by the identical score to another U of L tandem. The latter BG duo faced the Cardinals' Fellerhoff/Velasquez duo, the tourney's second seed.
"We had good doubles results today," said Dean. "Obviously, Nikki and Emily had a nice win, and even those Maddy and Katie lost by an 8-1 score, they played some very good points. They played much better than an 8-1 match, but their opponents are just that good."
Eccleston dropped her opening singles match to OSU's Gabby Steel, one of the players seeded 5-8 for the tourney. All four BGSU players will compete in both singles and doubles again on Saturday.
"These four women represented Bowling Green very well today," said Dean. "Even the matches that we lost were very competitive. I look forward to seeing how we do in our Saturday matches."
BGSU RESULTS AT THE MUIRFIELD COLLEGIATE TENNIS INVITATIONAL
def. Caitlin O'Gara (Cincinnati) 6-2, 6-2
Lost to Prang Pantusart (Akron) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6)
vs. Kristina Labeja (Eastern Kentucky)
def. Kelsey Becker (Ohio State) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (12-10)
vs. Noelle Malley (OSU)
Lost to Gabby Steele (OSU), 6-0, 6-1
vs. Kelly Poggensee-Wie (UC)
def. Melissa Gerritsen (EKU) 6-3, 6-4
vs. Kelsey Dieters (OSU)
def. Tachovsky/Shine (Louisville) 8-1
vs. Lebeja/Gerritsen (EKU)
Lost to Fellerhoff/Velasquez (UL) 8-1
vs. Witte/Sullivan (UC)