Hawkeyes Win 2 at Watanabe Classic

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — The University of Iowa women’s tennis team ended day one of the Watanabe Classic with two wins on Friday at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.

Michelle Bacalla defeated Dixie State’s Alex Hildreth in straight sets (6-1, 6-1) to advance to the semifinals in Flight 2. Freshman Barbara Pokorna, competing in her second collegiate fall tournament, fell in a close match to Texas Tech’s Bojana Marinkov in Flight 1 (7-5, 6-4).

In flight 3 singles, Samantha Gillas lost to UNLV’s Shir Azran (6-1, 6-2). Vipasha Mehra wrapped up singles action for the Hawkeyes with a nail-biting match, defeating Grand Canyon’s Autumn Prudhomme in Flight 4 (6-2, 3-6, 6-3).

“We need these competition opportunities, said head coach Sasha Schmid. “I am happy for Michelle and Vipasha today in their singles wins. We are looking forward to another day tomorrow and building on today’s matches throughout the weekend.”

In doubles action, both doubles teams lost in the quarterfinals. Mehra/Gillas fell to LBSU’s Masuda/Homolkova (6-1) in Flight 1. UNLV’s Azran/Hu edged Pokorna/Bacalla (7-6) in Flight 2.

The Hawkeyes compete in day two of the tournament on Saturday with doubles semifinals followed by singles semifinals.