Women’s tennis team preps for invitational

Fresh off of two impressive showings to start the season, the Eastern Michigan University women’s tennis team heads to Colorado Springs for the Air Force Invitational Oct. 5-7.

This invitational will be EMU’s last tournament before traveling to Champaign, Ill for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Regional Oct. 18-23, which will be their last tournament for the fall season.

There are some players to watch out for from the Eagle team going into this tournament.

The first is EMU junior transfer Diana Davitaia, who is undefeated after her first two singles tournaments in the fresh season.
Davitaia won at the Gopher Invitational in three sets beating fellow teammate and freshmen Kiara Supejova, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Then, at the Florida International University Panther Invitational, Davitala defeated the University of South Alabama’s Mariya Krachok in straight sets, 6-2, 2-1.

Next is Supejova, who as mentioned earlier, lost in the Gopher Invitational final to Davitaia.

Supejova won her doubles match at the FIU Panther Invitational teaming with junior Mariya Toncheva to defeat Jaguars’ Emily Newton and Mary Angela Martin 8-0.

Also, Supejova and Toncheva finished second at the Gopher Invitational.

“Diana, along with freshman Kiara Supejova have been solid for us at the top,” EMU women’s tennis coach Ryan Ray said. “I am very confident in their games, they will be tested more this tournament, but they are up to the challenge.”

Playing in an invitational for three days straight can be very grueling and taxing on the body, which is why the players are in the best physical condition possible and are always making sure that they keep a good diet.

With the tournament taking place in Colorado, the altitude might play a factor in how EMU performs this weekend.

Typically for athletes that are not used to playing in those conditions, it can be difficult to keep pace compared to others who have been playing in the altitude and making their bodies used to responding to any kind of immediate fatigue.

“I’m looking for everyone to keep improving each fall tournament. Fighting through all three days is critical and the ladies have done a good job of that thus far,” Ryan said.

The field for the Air Force Invitational is very strong and features schools such as Arizona, Oregon, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and nationally ranked Illinois, who reached the inaugural Big Ten Women’s Tournament semifinals this past April before falling to the Michigan Wolverines 4-0.

EMU will be tested during this fall campaign and should serve as a good barometer for the team going forward in the 2012-13 season.
“We are ready for more of a challenge as we look to close out our fall competition in the next few weeks,” Ryan said.

After the fall season concludes at the ITA Midwest Regional, EMU will resume their season Jan. 11, 2013 when they make the journey across the Midwest, travelling to Lincoln, Neb. to play the University of Nebraska Kearney.

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