FAIRFIELD, Conn. – There is something about the Sacred Heart Doubles Festival that brings out the best in the Quinnipiac University women's tennis team, as the Bobcats once again fared well in the annual tournament. Quinnipiac posted a combined 16-4 record on the afternoon and walked away with three of the four titles. Junior Jacqueline Raynor (Garden City, N.Y.) also picked up her 80th career win in the one-day event.
"It was a great start to the 2013-14 season," said head coach Mike Quitko, who enters his 23rd year at the helm of the program. "We have tremendous talent up and down the roster this year, and to do so well in the very first tournament shows how hard our girls worked in the off-season. I'm really looking forward to watching each player progress throughout the year."
Raynor and transfer Sophia Dzulynsky (Miramar, Fla.) claimed the first title for Quinnipiac as the tandem posted a 3-2 record in the Flight A bracket. Raynor and Dzulynsky defeated teams from Fairfield and Sacred Heart early on, and then clinched the win with an 8-3 victory over Providence College's Alana Prinos and Maria Clara Bernardez. Raynor became the 26th player in Quinnipiac history to eclipse the 80-win plateau.
Quinnipiac's Flight B duo consisted of two newcomers in freshmen Sydney Young (Austin, Texas) and Rachel Horton (Stamford, Conn.). Young and Horton wasted very little time adjusting to the collegiate level, defeating all five opponents they faced – tandems from Providence, Bryant, UConn, Fairfield and Sacred Heart. Horton and Young sealed the bracket sweep with an 8-5 win over Sacred Heart in their final match.
The Bobcats mixed and matched their way through the final victory, as three players – freshman Kelsi Oliphant (Calgary, Alberta), senior captain Mary Chupa (Bradenton, Fla.) and Ariana Launie (Milton, Mass.) – combined to go 4-1 in Flight C. Launie and Oliphant capped off the title with an 8-3 win over the Pioneer pairing of Taylor Gurda and Haley Dubits. Launie and Chupa also picked up their second career victory when paired together in a tournament.
Quinnipiac's Flight D team consisted of freshman Daniella Reyes (Burr Ridge, Ill.) and sophomore Nicole Keklik (Stratford, Conn.). Reyes and Keklik put together a tremendous showing on the day as the duo combined to go 4-1 record through five matches. Unfortunately, the loss in the fourth match to Providence's Olivia Hogan and Amanda Pitocco proved to be the difference in the bracket. PC claimed the fourth and final title.
The Bobcats are back in action with their annual Quinnipiac University Women's Tennis Invitational. Joining the Bobcats this year are Sacred Heart, UConn, Providence, Army, Navy, Seton Hall, Niagara and Hartford for the three-day event. All the action begins on Friday, Sept. 13 at 3 p.m. on Mount Carmel Campus at the QU Outdoor Tennis Courts.
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