Hawks suffer tough loss in PSAC Championship to Cal U
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17:04
IUP fell to California (Pa.) Friday in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Women’s Tennis Championship at Bloomsburg University.
IUP beat Bloomsburg in the semifinals earlier in the day 5-0 before earning only one point in a 6-1 loss to Cal U.
“The Bloomsburg match went as expected,” Head Coach Larry Peterson said. “We are a stronger team.”
IUP swept the doubles spots with Tabtip Louhabanjong and Katie Eaton defeating Bloomsburg’s Michelle Perez and Emily Palko 8-5 at number one. Emilia Osborne and Tanya Timko had an 8-0 shutout at number two while Erika Schnaas and Ranvita Mahto took the win at number three.
The Hawks kept the momentum heading into the singles matches, and Abby McCormick’s win at number four clinched the semifinal matchup and put the Hawks in the championship.
During championship match against Cal, the Hawks had one doubles victory with Osborne and Timko downing Cal’s Annabel Pieschl and Jade Pondicas at number two 9-7.
The Hawks struggled during singles play and were unable to earn any wins. Cal’s Martina Rubesova, ranked 12th in the nation, beat Louhabanjong 6-1, 6-2 while Cal’s Jade Pondicas, the 42-ranked player in Division 11, defeated Eaton 6-1, 6-4.
Despite the tough loss, Coach Peterson was proud of the team’s performance against Cal.
“I think it was our best match of the year,” he said. “They are just a little stronger than us.”
The day had more victory for the Hawks than the championship match reflected. Louhabanjong was the PSAC Champion Scholar Athlete award winner, which goes to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average at the tournament. Louhabanjong is a foreign language, literatures and linguistics major with a 4.0.
“I am very proud of her,” Peterson said. “She is a very good student, and we stress academics on the team.”
IUP is ranked second in the Atlantic Region and is waiting for confirmation to appear in the NCAA tournament. The Hawks have submitted a bid and could host the first two rounds of regional play, which begin next week.