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Cardinals Continue to Shine at Tufts Invitational

Photo by Ellen Friedlander
Photo by Ellen Friedlander

-- Recap by Ben Shapiro --

MEDFORD, Mass.— Wesleyan's freshmen continued to impress in their first college event on Day 2 of the Tufts Invitational, where the Cardinals still have plenty of players competing going into the final day tomorrow. Freshman Kristina Yu has not yet lost a match, advancing to tomorrow's singles semifinals and doubles final alongside her sister Victoria. Yu's semifinal opponent will be fellow first-year Venia Yeung, who will also be competing in the doubles backdraw final with sophomore Polina Kiseleva.

SINGLES HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The younger Yu cruised 6-2, 6-1 over May Zhu of Amherst in her first match of the day, but was pushed to three sets in her quarterfinal against Marina Zhang of MIT. Yu was solid down the stretch, and came away with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory.
  • Yeung's first match of the day was against fellow Wesleyan freshman Megan Tran. The two traded blows from the baseline, but Yeung's steadiness helped her prevail, defeating her teammate 6-3, 6-2.
  • In the backdraw, two of the four semifinalists are from Wesleyan. Kiseleva played two strong matches, winning both in straight sets to advance, while freshman Alexis Almy had to battle. In her first backdraw match, Almy dropped the first set but hung around long enough to eventually make her move, topping Patricia Obeid of Tufts 2-6, 7-5, 10-5. In her second match, Almy held off Lara Rakocevic 6-0, 6-4 to move into the semis.

DOUBLES HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Yu sisters were dominant in their semifinal match against MIT, quickly finishing the day off with an 8-1 win.
  • Kiseleva and Yeung continued to click as a team after dropping their first match on Friday, winning 8-4 over Amherst to advance to the backdraw final.
  • Almy and sophomore Alissa Nakamoto almost pulled off an impressive comeback for the second straight day, but eventually fell to the #2 seeds from MIT. Wesleyan trailed for most of the match before taking a 6-5 lead, but MIT came on strong at the end to win 8-6.

FROM THE SOURCE:

  • Venia Yeung: "I feel proud because it's my first college tournament. I was down in my match but I came back, and I feel like I learned a really good lesson about mental toughness today. I'm a freshman but after the past few days I really feel comfortable now, like I'm home."
  • Kristina Yu: "It's nice having the team supporting me. I think it will be fun playing tomorrow. I hope it will be a great match."

WHAT'S NEXT:

  • The Tufts Invitation will wrap up tomorrow, beginning with singles at 9 AM. Yeung and Yu will face each other for a spot in the final, while Kiseleva and Almy take on opponents from MIT and Amherst for places in the backdraw final. The doubles finals will take place after the singles final, where the top seeded Yu sisters will face #2 seeds Libby Rickeman and Viktoriya Tabunshchyk of MIT, while Kiseleva and Yeung take on Anya Ramras and Claire Evans of Amherst in the backdraw final.