The women’s tennis team headed to Fredericksburg, Virginia this past weekend, Sept. 24 and 25, to compete in the ITA Regional Championships. Through the weekend, the team competed in a total of 15 singles games and six doubles competitions. For the first time since 2011, a Blue Jay women’s tennis player proceeded to the flight final. The Blue Jays took home seven singles victories and three doubles defeats over the weekend.
Sophomore Meghan Chemidlin stood out in the singles competitions and made it to the flight final. She is the first Elizabethtown College women’s tennis player to make it to the final match since 2011.
Chemidlin’s success as a player began in her first year with an 18-3 season. She was last year’s All-Landmark Second Team Singles and has only gotten better since earning the title. This weekend, she consistently outplayed her opponents and easily ascended to the top spot in the final flight. She was described by her team and observers alike as being “at the top of her game.”
Singles games were also won by senior business administration major Sam Procak on Sunday. Procak remained resilient from a lost first round and went on to win two matches. One match was against Penn State player Alicia Hitz with an 8-4 final set and another against Salisbury University’s Shannon Hickman with the same score.
Etown first-year Brianna Titi claimed her first college championship victory in Saturday’s beginning match against Shenandoah University’s Alyssa White. Titi dominated the game with a 6-0 and 6-3 match. She proceeded to the quarterfinals before falling to Alexandra Collins of Franklin and Marshall College in a 6-2 final set.
The Championship Doubles matches saw fierce opposition from the Etown team of senior Taylor Helsel and first-year Lenea Riehl. The two won the match against Moravian College’s Eady and Scantlebury with a score of 8-5. The team went on to challenge John’s Hopkins University’s Mikey Barthelmass and Ashnaa Rao. Rao especially was a challenge during the game, as she was ranked 11th in the country at ITA’s national singles. After a tough match, Helsel and Riehl fell to the John’s Hopkins’ players.
Returning to the court after their respective wins in singles, Chemidlin and Titi scored big in the Blue two Doubles bracket against Hollins University players Johnson and Woodruff with a stunning 8-0 victory. The senior and first-year duo continued until the quarter finals.
This weekend also marked the first championship of the team under new head coach Michael Lesko. Lesko began as the assistant coach in 2014 and became the head coach of the men’s and women’s teams in August this year. In college, he was a captain of the Shepard University Rams and was the All-Mountain East Conference Second Team honors achiever. Many in the Athletic Department noted on his potential as a coach and his value as a leader in athletics.
If the recent championship says anything about the performance of Etown’s women’s tennis, we can look forward to an exceptional season in the spring of 2017.