The Boston University women’s tennis team spent Halloween weekend competing at the Yale Invitational in New Haven, Conn., ‘-‘- its third and arguably most successful tournament of the fall season. There was not much time for trick or treating, but the team did take home an assortment of accolades.
The Terriers placed in all three singles flights, with freshman Stefanie Nunic, senior captain Cori Lefkowith and junior Elizabeth Corrao each taking third prize in the blue, white and silver flights, respectively. Nunic and junior Francine Whu finished second in the blue doubles draw, while Lefkowith partnered with senior Danielle Abraham to win the white doubles title.
Despite boasting an array of top finishers, there is definitely room for improvement, BU coach Lesley Sheehan said.’
‘I think we’re a stronger team than we showed this weekend,’ she said. ‘As a whole we placed, but of course a coach’s expectations are a little higher for their team, and I think that we should have had a lot of first-place [finishes].’
Lefkowith and Abraham first played together as freshmen, Sheehan said, and were separated their sophomore years because the coach opted for ‘other combinations.’ They were reunited last season.
‘They complement each other very well,’ Sheehan said.
The seniors took their first match, 8-2, and fought their way to a 9-8 (7) victory in the second round. The pair followed with an 8-4 victory over Penn State University’s Leyla Morzan and Dorothy Dohanics.
Corrao dominated her first two matches in the silver singles flight, dropping just one set before falling to Yale University’s Sarah Lederhandler, 6-4, 6-2. In the third-place match against Yale’s Lilian Nguyen, who she had lost to in the past, Corrao took the first set, 6-4, and the second, 7-5.
‘I felt Liz played well, especially in the first forced playoff when she beat [Nguyen], who she’s lost to before,’ Sheehan said.
Nunic and Whu took their first two matches, 8-6 and 8-4, before falling to Yale’s Janet Kim and Lauren Ritz, 8-4, in the finals. It was a match Sheehan said she thought they should have won.
‘They didn’t play very well in the final,’ she said. ‘I think they were disappointed in their play, but making it to the finals was very good. They have some things to work on, and they will.’
The partners also faced off in the third-place match of the blue singles flight, one of the closest competitions of the day. The girls went to three sets, with Nunic rallying back after a 6-1 first-set loss to take the next two, 7-6 (4) and 13-11.
‘Facing a teammate is always difficult,’ Sheehan said. ‘It was a good match. Nunic won, but they’re very close in ability.’
With just one more tournament remaining in the fall season, this weekend’s three-day Big Green Invitational at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., the Terriers’ fall tune-up is quickly nearing its end. Sheehan cited a lack of focus and feelings of nervousness as a problem at this weekend’s invitational.’
She planned to spend the week leading up to the Big Green Invitational working on relaxation techniques designed to help ‘calm the mind’ and reduce a player’s number of mental errors, and also stressed that the fall season is a time to make necessary preparations for spring tournaments.
‘I really have a lot of confidence in my team,’ Sheehan said. ‘I don’t think we’re performing to our ability, but I think that we will. That’s what the fall season is for.’