NCAA Women's Tennis Individual Championships Day 1 Recap

Camille Smukler, Amherst

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The NCAA Singles and Doubles Tournaments began on Friday at several locations around Kalamazoo, Michigan due to inclement weather. Nine NESCAC players competed in the singles bracket with three advancing to the quarterfinals and three of the four doubles teams moved out of the Round of 16 and will continue playing on Saturday.


Amherst junior Camille Smukler won twice on Friday to advance to the quarterfinals. She defeated Rebecca Berger 6-3, 6-3 in the Round of 16 to book her first quarterfinals appearance in her third NCAA appearance. She improves to 15-4 with her third career NCAA championship singles victory. Berger was 17-1 overall this year and defeated Leah Bush of Williams in the Round of 32 to start the day. Earlier in the day, Smukler broke serve three times in the opening set on the way to a straight-sets victory (6-2, 6-2) over Hope College's Claire Hallock.

Amherst first-year Jackie Bukzin, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year, took the first set from University of Chicago's Marjorie Antohi, 6-3. Antohi won the second set, 6-3, to force a third set that went to a tiebreaker, where Bukzin had match point but eventually fell, 8-6 

Middlebury's Heather Boehm, the NESCAC Player of the Year, started her day with a 6-0, 7-6 (6) victory over Johns Hopkins' Anjali Kashyap. During the round of 16, she bowed out of the tournament with a 6-1, 7-5 setback against Wesleyan's Victoria Yu. Boehm finishes her season with a record of 16-3. 

Katherine Hughes dropped her first-round match against top-seeded Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico from Emory in straight sets (6-0, 6-3), while Christina Puccinelli was edged by Wisconsin-Whitewater's Gabrielle Kitchell by scores of 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-2. Hughes wraps up her play as an individual with a record of 13-7, while Puccinelli concludes this spring at 21-4.

Victoria Yu and Venia Yeung won matches in the Round of 32 and Round of 16 to advance to the quarterfinals, while Kristina Yu wrapped up her singles campaign falling to Catherine Allen of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 6-3, 6-3, in the pair's second meeting of the week. 

Yeung and Daniela Lopez of Emory opened the day with their third match of the year and second meeting this week. Lopez opened the match with a 6-3 first-set victory. In the second set, Yeung eased to a 6-3 victory to force the deciding set. Knotted 2-2 in the third, Yeung won four-straight games to pick up the 6-2 victory. In Yeung's Round of 16 match, she faced ITA Rookie of the Year Danna Taylor of Carnegie Mellon, cruising to a 6-1, 6-3 victory to advance to the quarterfinals where she will face Pomona-Pitzer's Caroline Casper on Saturday at 9 a.m.

Senior Victoria Yu started the day taking on Michelle Uyeda of Linfield. The first set was knotted four different times before Yu took two straight games for a 7-5 victory. Tied 3-3 in the second set, Yu cruised through three games to take the set 6-3 to advance to the next round. In her next match, Yu faced NESCAC rival Boehm of Middlebury and won the third meeting between the two players this season, 6-1, 7-5. With the win, Yu advances will take on NESCAC rival Camille Smukler of Amherst on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the quarterfinals. Despite both players being from the NESCAC, Smukler and Yu have never faced each other before.

In the NCAA Doubles Championship bracket of 16 teams, Middlebury's Hughes and Skylar Schossberger defeated Chicago's Eugenia Lee and Catherine Xu in straight sets by tallies of 7-6 (4), 6-3. The pairs advance to take on the Emory tandem of Gonzalez-Rico and Defne Olcay on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

The other Panther team of Boehm and Ann Martin Skelly, seeded second in the draw, posted a 6-1, 6-4 triumph against University of Texas-Dallas' Kathy Joseph and Sindhu Ravula. The pair will square off against Emma Alsup and Lauren Hawley from Denison in the round of eight.

The Tufts first-year duo of Maggie Dorr and Caroline Garrido lost their opening Round of 16 match falling to the Emory duo of Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico and Defne Olcay, 6-1, 6-3. Dorr and Garrido finish the 2018-19 season with an 11-6 record.

The Yu sisters met Carnegie Mellon's Mellissa Strome and Danna Taylor and posted a 6-2, 6-2 win to advance to the quarterfinals where they will square off against CMS's Sarah Bashoun and Nicole Tan at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.