Tennis Opens Season At ESU Invitational and ITA All-American
UMKC Athletics 10-3-2017
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EMPORIA, Kan. – UMKC men’s and women’s tennis recently wrapped up play in the ESU Invitational and at the ITA All-American Championships.

“The seasons after winning championships seem to always be the hardest,” Head Coach Kendell Hale said.  “We now have a bullseye on both our men’s and women’s programs but I know our teams are ready for the challenge.  We lost quite a few on the guy’s side but we brought in some Division I transfer experience to mix with our returners so we should be as strong as ever!  Our ladies came back from summer break ready to go, in great shape and practicing very well.  I’m excited to see how we compete.”

In the ITA All-American Championships, the Roos had three total qualifiers with Tom Kruse, Alex Pozo and Diego Giraldo all reaching the event.  Kruse opened the event with a 7-5, 6-3 loss to Memphis’ Felix Rauch, while Pozo fell to Toby Boyer of Nebraska 6-3, 6-3 and Giraldo lost to Florida’s Stephen Madonia, 6-1, 6-4.

In the consolation draw, meanwhile, Kruse knocked off Elliot Johnstone from WAC foe UTRGV 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, while Pozo dropped a 6-2, 6-0 decision to Miguel Fernandez of Middle Tennessee and Giraldo fell 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) to Old Dominion’s Javier Maestre.

In the ESU Invitational, Airam Castellano led the Roos in the event, taking the title in the #1-#2 flight with a trio of wins on his way to the title, including a 7-5, 6-1 win over Northwest Missouri State’s Josef Altmann.

In the #3-4 Flight, Pozo advanced to the final match with two three set wins before retiring with an injury in the final, while in the #5-6 Flight Anil Patel picked up the title with two straight set wins and a 3-3, ret., victory in the championship.

The #7-8 Flight, meanwhile, featured bracket wins by a pair of Roos with Marc Casasnovas and Alex Kartsonis each claiming their bracket.

The Roos continued to roll in doubles play with Castellano and Pozo claiming the #1 Flight bracket with wins of 8-4 and 8-6 and Kruse and Amaury Navette winning the #2 Flight with wins of 8-5 and 8-2.  In the #3 Flight, the Roos added their third doubles win as Patel and Kartsonis won the title with an 8-1 win in the finals.

On the women’s side, Aliona Ladutska claimed her first match in the #1-2 Flight with Katie Fries taking the title in the bracket with a pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins before a 6-4, 7-5 win in the finals.

In the #3-4 Flight, Melinda Johnson and Yana Grechkina each picked up a victory before falling in the semifinals, while in the #5-6 Flight Thanushree Vale and Grace Ball each nabbed a pair of wins en route to claiming their bracket titles.

Flight #7-8, meanwhile, was claimed by Ioanna Lathouri as she won three matches by scores of 6-2, 6-0; 6-0, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-1.

In doubles play, Ladutska and Ball won the #2 Flight with an 8-2 win in the finals.

The Blue & Gold will be back in action again on Oct. 19-13 when they wrap-up fall play at the ITA Regionals in Minneapolis, Minn., for the men and Lawrence, Kan., for the women.

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