Atlanta, Ga. - The women's tennis team of North Carolina Wesleyan opened its season over the weekend at the ITA Fall Regional Tournament hosted by Emory University. Competing with one junior, one sophomore and four freshmen, the youthful Bishops were impressive in their first tourney, tallying 12 wins in singles play and a series of quarterfinal appearances.
In Main Draw singles, last season's USA South Rookie of the Year Natalia Lopez picked up where she left off in the spring with a trio of wins that included an upset of Emory's Michelle Satterfield (7-5, 7-6), who is currently ranked #34 in the nation. Lopez did not drop a set en route to a quarterfinal match-up with Emory's Katerina Su, who handed the sophomore just the second loss of her career (6-1, 6-0). Su went on to capture the singles title.
Freshman Maria Fernanda Orona was also a winner in the opening round, downing Sam Munze of Methodist in straights (6-2, 6-3). She was eliminated in the round of 32 by Millsaps' Deena Li Kam Wa by a similar score, while the consolation bracket saw freshmen Rachel Hui and Samantha Cachutt each reach the quarterfinals with wins over players from Agnes Scott, Methodist and Centre.
In the "B" Draw, freshmen Sofia Prado recorded three straight-set wins over opponents from Oglethorpe, Centre and Berry. She was eliminated in semifinal play by eventual champion Davi Barbour of Methodist. Also competing in the "B" bracket was junior Katie Beeman, who defeated Mary Katherine Fagan of Meredith in straights (6-0, 6-2) before falling to Covenant's Lindsay Geving in the round of 16.
Main Draw doubles saw Lopez/Orona march to the quarterfinals with a pair of victories over Oglethorpe and Agnes Scott. The talented duo would fall to eventual champions Harding/Satterfield of top-ranked Emory, 8-4. The pairings of Hui/Cachett and Prado/Beeman were each victorious in one consolation match before being eliminated from their respective brackets.
Wesleyan returns to action on October 3rd at Methodist University's Fall Invitational.