Mount St. Mary’s Invite concludes fall competition for women’s tennis

Bethany Blass, Staff Writer

Six of eight spots in the final round of each bracket belonged to a Bison at a successful Mount St. Mary’s Invite on Oct. 4-5. Three of those events ended with a championship victory for the Bison, including Madeline Melch’s ’18 second of the season in Flight B singles. Melissa Parks ’17 also won her first title of the season in Flight C singles, while Maria Cioffi ’16 and Michele Urbinati ’17 were victorious in Flight A doubles.

Melch beat a Dickinson opponent 6-1, 6-1 and continued on to defeat a Mount St. Mary’s contender 4-6, 6-2, 11-9. Lisa Jouravleva ’18 beat her Mount St. Mary’s opponent 7-8 (8-6), 6-1, followed by a Howard rival 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the finals. She was set to face Melch in B finals, but Melch won by default.

“The highlight of the Invite for me was winning my second round match when I had lost the first set,” Melch said. “The team has shown improvement with supporting and cheering on their teammates. While a match was being played, a teammate was on the court watching and cheering.”

Parks defeated opponents from Loyola (Md.) 7-5, 6-4 and Mount St. Mary’s 6-0, 5-7, 12-10 to advance to the C finals alongside Jorie Fox ’17. Fox defeated a Howard opponent 7-5, 6-4 and a challenger from Mount St. Mary’s 7-5, 6-4 to reach that climax but lost to Parks in the finals.

Cioffi and Urbinati ended their undefeated streak in doubles play, losing to a Loyola duo 9-7. However, they were able to come back and defeat a Mount St. Mary’s duo 8-3 to win consolation play. Jouravleva and Stephanie Pino ’16 won their first match in Flight A doubles 8-4 before falling to a Howard duo 8-2.

“We really cheer each other on and make sure we pump each other up,” Jouravleva said. “I think everybody’s game on the team has improved since we began school, and we’re ready to compete in the spring!”

In Flight B doubles, Parks and Allison Lane ’18 defeated a Dickinson duo 8-1. Alyssa McAndrew ’15 and Emilie Bush ’18 knocked out their Howard pair with an 8-4 win. Unfortunately, both pairs fell short in the semifinal round.

In Flight A singles, Cioffi won matches against Loyola 6-4, 6-4 and Howard 6-3, 6-3. However, she fell to her final opponent from Howard 6-1, 6-3. Urbinati was defeated in the first round but came back to defeat a Dickinson opponent 6-2, 6-1. She came up short to her Loyola opponent 6-2, 6-1 in the consolation match.

“I think we are learning to keep a more positive mind-set on the court, especially when things get tough,” said head coach Rebecca Helt. “The more we can learn to stay calm, focused and positive out there, the more we’ll be able to rely on the skills we work so hard to develop. When our negative thoughts get in our way, all the training in the world won’t help.”

This tournament has concluded the fall season for the Bison. They will continue to practice during the offseason until they begin play again in February.

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