The University of South Florida women’s tennis team earned a big win to start the 2011 dual match season, defeating No. 25 Illinois 4-3 at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Atlanta, Ga. The Bulls advance to take on No. 13 Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
USF head coach Agustin Moreno wanted to see the mettle of his freshmen this weekend, and Alessandra Bonte proved capable, sealing the doubles point and the win in her two matches. The Los Angeles, Calif., native played with fellow freshman Kate Parker at No. 3 doubles, and in the No. 5 spot for singles.
“We really fought from the beginning with the doubles win,” Moreno said. “It got tough during the singles matches, and we knew how to handle it. Illinois is a tough team, so this is a very good win for us.”
The other winners on Saturday were the No. 25 doubles tandem of Janette Bejlkova and Loreto Alonso Martinez, who won 8-4 over the No. 15 tandem of Rachael White and Allison Falkin to help secure the doubles point. In singles action, No. 24-ranked Irene Rehberger won 6-0, 6-0 over Breanne Smutko , while Ecaterina Vasenina registered a 6-2, 6-3 win against Chelcie Abajian . Bonte sealed the victory in the final match of the day with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Marisa Lambropoulos.
Georgia Tech is ranked No. 13 nationally and will be a tough test for the Bulls. A win advances USF to the ITA National Indoor Team Championships held Feb. 18-22 in Charlottesville, Va.
No. 28 USF 4, No. 25 Illinois 3
ITA Kickoff Weekend
1. No. 24 Irene Rehberger (USF) def. Breanne Smutko(Illinois) 6-0, 6-0
2. Ecaterina Vasenina (USF) def. Chelcie Abajian(Illinois) 6-2, 6-3
3. No. 100 Rachael White (Illinois) def. Janette Bejlkova (USF) 6-3, 6-3
4. Amy Allin (Illinois) def. Loreto Alonso Martinez (USF) 6-0, 7-6
5. Alessandra Bonte (USF) def. Marisa Lambropoulos (Illinois) 7-5, 6-4
6. Allison Falkin (Illinois) def. Kate Parker (USF) 6-3, 6-0
Finish Order – 1, 2, 6, 4, 3, 5
1. No. 25 Bejlkova/Alonso Martinez (USF) def. No. 15 White/Falkin (Illinois) 8-4
2. No. 45 Rehberger/Vasenina (USF) and Abajian/Smutko (Illinois) 6-5 (DNF)
3. Parker/Bonte (USF) def. Allin/ Lambropoulos (Illinois) 8-6
Finish Order- 1, 3