IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s tennis team came ready to compete on Thursday at the ITA Central Regional Championships winning four singles matches and one doubles match on day one at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.
Samantha Gillas beat Kate Sexton of Saint Louis (6-1, 6-1) in the first round and followed with another victory over Faboila Perez of SIUE (6-4, 6-4) in the second round to advance play in the main draw on Friday.
Michelle Bacalla defeated Laurea Baroja of UMKC in straight sets (6-1, 7-5) in round one of qualifying singles. Bacalla faced Drake’s Darinka Stepan in the second round and fell in three sets (4-6, 7-6, 10-7).
“I think it’s good that I played two singles matches today,” said Gillas. “The person I play tomorrow has not played yet, so it gives me more confidence and helps me stay focus on my play.”
Vipasha Mehra bounced Alexia Di Giulio of Omaha (6-1, 6-2) in the first round, but lost to Central Arkansas’ Yada Vasupongchai in the second round (6-4, 6-4).
In doubles competition, the duo of Mannix/Gillas defeated Mya Spencer and Mariona Perez of Saint Louis (6-4) to advance to the next round. The two will face Kansas State’s Turco/Maffei in the Round of 32. Absisan/Osborn of Omaha edged Bacalla/Porkorna (6-3).
“We had to get through some tough points, but we got through it together,” said Mannix. “We played well, and I hope we can keep improving for the next couple of rounds.”
Play is set to start on Friday at 8 a.m. For live scoring, bracket updates, and other information visit https://hawkeyesports.com/ita-central-regional-championship/.
The tournament continues through Monday, with 27 different schools within the region competing. Admission is free to the public.
SINGLES QUALIFYING DRAW:
Michelle Bacalla (UI) def. Laura Baroia (UMKC): 6-1, 7-5
Darinka Stepan (DRAKE) def. Michelle Bacalla (UI): 6-4, 7-6 (4), 10-7
Samantha Gillas (UI) def. Kate Sexton (SLU): 6-1, 6-1
Samantha Gillas def. Faboila Perez (SIUE): 6-4, 6-4.
Vipasha Mehra (UI) def. Alexia Di Giulio (OMAHA): 6-1, 6-2
Yada Vasupongchai (UCA) def. Vipasha Mehra (UI): 6-4, 6-4
DOUBLES MAIN DRAW:
R64: Mannix/Gillas (UI) def. Spencer/Perez (SLU): 6-4
R64: Absisan/Osborn (OMAHA) def. Bacalla/Porkona (UI): 6-3