October 23, 2016


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis team went toe-to-toe with some of the best Division-I teams in the Ohio Valley Region this weekend at the ITA Regional Championships hosted by Middle Tennessee State.

Sarah Candeloro and Burcu Tari were amongst the 64 players in the main singles draw. Candeloro made it to the Round of 16 after dispatching Xavier’s Lauren Ghidotti (6-2, 3-6, 6-2) and Ball State’s Tori Osmond (6-3, 6-2) before her run was halted by Anzhelika Shapovalova from Miami (Ohio), 6-2, 6-2. Tari was responsible for a first-round triumph over Tennessee State’s Ariel Zina Graves (6-2, 6-1) before falling by a 6-3, 6-2 margin to eventual semifinal participant Akvile Parazinakaite of Kentucky.

Two Skyhawk duos competed in the main 32-team doubles draw. Candeloro and Jemima Potter accounted for an 8-2 win over the Cincinnati team of Kelly Poggensee-Wei/Lauren Bellinger in the first round. Candeloro/Potter left it all on the court in the following round but came up just short with an 8-6 loss to Madison Appel/Kim Schmider of Indiana.

Tari/Asel Jumamukhambetova also represented UT Martin in the field after earning an 8-3 win over Ball State’s Julia Sbircea/Audrey Berger in the qualifying round. The Skyhawk duo then battled before falling 8-3 to Olivia Boesing/Elle Stokes of Louisville but still entered the main field, drawing a first round matchup against Wright State’s Linsey Verstrepen/Haily Morgan before falling 8-3.

UT Martin had two participants in the qualifying singles round. Jumamukhambetova posted a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (10) opening round victory against Chattanooga’s Sydney Patton. In the second round, Jumamukhambetova fought until the end before coming up short against Andreea Badileanu of Miami (Ohio), 6-1, 6-2. Jumamukhambetova closed out the singles portion of her tournament with a thrilling 7-6 (5), 5-7, 1-0 (7) consolation round win over Middle Tennessee’s Luisa Zirilli. Potter also took part in the bracket for the Skyhawks, falling by a 6-2, 6-2 margin to Louisville’s Olivia Boesing. In the consolation round, Potter battled but was defeated 6-2, 7-5 by Vanina Iordanova from Xavier.

In Flight B singles, Andrea Plantada Cortes posted a 6-2, 6-1 win in the first round over Wright State’s Megan Brdicka. She then fell by a 6-2, 6-4 margin to eventual flight champion Josefina Zehnder of Middle Tennessee State. Plantada Cortes bounced back with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Eastern Kentucky’s Marina Marti in the consolation round on Friday.

This event wrapped up a busy fall schedule for UT Martin, whose march for its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship begins with the spring opener at Louisville on Jan. 21.