September 23, 2013

Denison caps off fall season at ITAs

The Denison women's team wrapped up the 2013 fall season last weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Regional hosted by DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.

In the singles draw, senior Kelsey Geppner and sophomore Taylor Hawkins both reached the quarterfinal round of the tournament.  Geppner, who was seeded third in the 128-person field, opened the weekend with dominating wins in the first and second rounds.  The DU senior defeated Transylvania's Laila El Dessouki 6-0, 6-1 in the opening round before posting a 6-0, 6-0 shutout win over Jenna Riehl from Kalamazoo.

In the third round, Geppner took down DePauw's Kaitlin Pickrel via matching 7-5 scores.  After a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Augustana's Lauren Goggins in the fourth round, Geppner prepared for her quarterfinal match with 10th-seeded Brenna Sheldon of Oberlin.  In her quarterfinal match, the senior suffered a 6-2, 6-1 to her North Coast Athletic Conference opponent.

In the other half of the bracket, Hawkins, who was seeded 16th, opened play with a straight-set victory (6-3, 6-2) over Oberlin's Grace Porter.  In the second round, the Big Red sophomore defeated Jordan Apel from Chicago via 6-4, 6-1 scores.  Hawkins punched her ticket to the quarterfinals with decisions over 18th-seeded Aly Coran of Washington University (6-3, 6-3) and Hope's Nancy Bonda (6-1, 6-3) in the third and fourth rounds, respectively.  In her quarterfinal match, Hawkins took on 13th-seeded Helen Svidzhkov from Chicago.  After dropping a 6-1 decision in the first set, the sophomore shut out Svidzhkov in the second to square the match at 1-1.  In the third and final set, the 13th-seeded athlete from Chicago edged Hawkins via 6-4 decision.

In doubles action, the second-seeded doubles team of Geppner and Hawkins cruised to a pair of 8-2 victories in the opening two rounds.  The DU tandem knocked off DePauw's Paige Bixler and Morgan Cohen in the first round, and took down Sarah Woods and Jenna Riehl from Kalamazoo in the second.  In the third round, Geppner and Hawkins battled Chicago's Jordan Appell and Stephanie Lee to an 8-8 tie through the first 16 points.  In the tiebreaker, the team from Chicago edged the Big Red pair, 9-7.

Freshman Emily Holloway put together a nice run in the singles consolation bracket. After dropping her first match of the tournament, Holloway quickly moved into the consolation quarterfinals after a trio of walkover advancements.  In the round of eight, the DU rookie blew past DePauw's Morgan Cohen thanks to a pair of 6-1 scores.  Holloway cruised past Case Western Reserve's Kennedy Mulholland (6-2, 6-0) in the semifinals, but dropped a decision to Otterbein's Sammi Kruger in the finals of the consolation bracket.

The Big Red will resume play on February 9 against the University of Chicago.