DUBLIN, Ohio – Junior Emily Reuland led the way as the Bowling Green State University tennis team had a stellar Saturday (Sept. 15) performance at the Muirfield Collegiate Tennis Invitational. Reuland was a perfect 4-0 on the tournament's second day, and the Falcons went a combined 10-2 as a team.
The three-day, seven-team event is being held at The Country Club at Muirfield Village. Ohio State is hosting the tourney, which also includes participants from Akron, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky and Louisville, in addition to BGSU.
Reuland posted a pair of Saturday singles wins to advance to the semifinal round, and she teamed with classmate Nikki Chiricosta for two doubles victories as that duo advanced to the championship match.
The Falcons' Saturday record included a perfect 4-0 mark against the host Buckeyes. Senior Maddy Eccleston, like Reuland, won all four of her matches on Saturday, while Chiricosta and freshman Katie Brozovich each went 3-1 on the day.
Tiebreakers were the order of the day for the Falcons, as four of BG's eight singles matches required a third-set super tiebreaker. Reuland won both of her matches in tiebreakers, downing two Ohio State players in Kelsey Dieters and Gabby Steele. Dieters was seeded third among the 35 singles players, while Steele was one of four players seeded 5-8.
Reuland split a pair of 6-4 sets with Dieters, before posting an 11-9 win in the tiebreaker. Against Steele, the BG junior lost a 6-0 opening set, but bounced back for a 6-4 victory in the second set. The third-set tiebreaker went to Reuland by a 14-12 score.
"Emily really worked her to close out her singles wins today," said BGSU head coach Penny Dean. "She suffered an injury in her first match, and actually had to serve underhand during part of the second set and the match tiebreaker, but she gutted it out and got the win.
"In her second match, she was able to come back and win after losing a 6-0 opening set. They played an incredibly long tiebreaker, and both players had multiple match points, but Emily came through and won it, and I couldn't be more proud of her."
Reuland will meet top-seeded Julie Fellerhoff of Louisville in Sunday's semifinal round.
Chiricosta posted a win over an Ohio State foe on Saturday, downing Noelle Malley in straight sets (6-4, 6-3). But, her run in the main draw came to an end against the Cardinals' Becca Shine, the second-seeded player in the bracket.
In doubles play, Chiricosta and Reuland teamed up for an 8-0 win over an Eastern Kentucky duo, then downed the OSU tandem of Steele and Fidan Manashirova, 8-6, in semifinal-round action under the lights. That Buckeye duo was the top-seeded doubles team in the tourney.
"Nikki and Emily played a very tough, back-and-forth match in the semifinals tonight," said Dean. "They did a great job of staying focused and picking up the win.
"The semifinal rounds of doubles began at 8 p.m. and were held under the lights. It made for a long day of tennis, but it was a great atmosphere and a great win for Nikki and Emily."
Chiricosta and Reuland will meet the second-seeded team, U of L's Fellerhoff and Manuela Velasquez, in Sunday's championship match.
In back-draw singles play, Eccleston picked up a pair of Saturday victories, including a straight-sets win over Kelly Poggensee-Wei of Cincinnati. The BGSU co-captain lost only five total games in that match, then outlasted EKU's Melissa Gerritsen in a tight match. After winning the opening set by a 6-4 count, Eccleston dropped the second set, 7-5. She fell behind in the tiebreaker, but rallied back for an 11-9 win.
"In her last match today, Maddy was down by a 9-6 score in the tiebreaker," said Dean. "Against a very good player, she was able to win five-straight points to take the tiebreaker and the match. It was a great performance."
Brozovich lost in a tiebreaker against EKU's Kristina Labeja, falling by a 10-7 final, but responded with a convincing win over Sierra Sullivan of UC. The Falcon freshman lost only four games, two in each set, en route to the win.
In the doubles back draw, Eccleston and Brozovich defeated the Bearcats' Sullivan and Ashleigh Witte by an 8-1 outcome. Then, the BG duo dropped EKU's Saioa Oscoz and Carmen Rodriguez, 8-5.
Over the first two days of the season-opening tournament, BGSU competitors are a combined 14-5, with a 9-4 singles mark and a 5-1 doubles record.
The tournament concludes Sunday with the doubles semifinals and finals, the singles championship and various back-draw 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)
Lost to Kristina Labeja (Eastern Kentucky) 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7)
def. Sierra Sullivan (UC) 6-2, 6-2
def. Kelsey Becker (Ohio State) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (12-10)
def. Noelle Malley (OSU) 6-4, 6-3
Lost to Becca Shine (Louisville) 6-4, 6-2
Lost to Gabby Steele (OSU), 6-0, 6-1
def. Kelly Poggensee-Wie (UC) 6-2, 6-3
def. Melissa Gerritsen (EKU) 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (11-9)
def. Melissa Gerritsen (EKU) 6-3, 6-4
def. Kelsey Dieters (OSU) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9)
def. Gabby Steele (OSU) 0-6, 6-4, 1-0 (14-12)
def. Tachovsky/Shine (UL) 8-1
def. Labeja/Gerritsen (EKU) 8-0
def. Manashirova/Steele (OSU) 8-6
Lost to Fellerhoff/Velasquez (UL) 8-1
def. Witte/Sullivan (UC) 8-5
def. Oscoz/Rodriguez (EKU) 8-5