Women's Tennis Surges at Charlotte Invitational

Neena Wanko

Sept. 23, 2013


CHARLOTTE - The East Carolina women’s tennis team continued their success in doubles at the Charlotte Invitational this past weekend, as it took eight of 10 matches against Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro and Campbell University during the two-day tournament.

The Pirates began the tournament by sweeping Charlotte in doubles and taking three of four matches against Campbell.

Sophomore Nicole LaDuca and senior Neena Wanko defeated Charlotte, 8-5, and Campbell, 8-6, in flight one. Junior Dana Gray and senior Melis Tanik also went undefeated in doubles play against Charlotte and Campbell in flight three.

The freshman duo of Emily Groeneveld and Michelle Castro saved four match points in flight two to win 9-7 against Charlotte, but fell short against Campbell. Freshmen Betsy Zurawel and Maria Storozheva teamed up in flight four to take their lone doubles match, 8-3, against Campbell.

Following doubles, day one for the Pirates wrapped up with singles play against Greensboro. Wanko and Groeneveld recorded come-from-behind, three set victories in flights two and five, respectively. LaDuca dismissed Yasmin Franco in straight sets in flight four, while Storozheva overcame Asha Iyengar in three sets to win 11-9 in the third set tiebreak. Zurawel won her first collegiate match in flight eight with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Alisha Burton.



Day two opened up with the final doubles match against Greensboro. In flight two, Groeneveld and Castro battled back from a 5-2 deficit to win 8-5, and Gray and Tanik won by a score of 8-0 for the second time in flight three.

Before rain threatened to cease the day’s action, the Pirates were able to squeeze in their singles matches against Campbell. In flight three, Castro defeated Tamara Stanic in straight sets after falling short against Stanic just two weekends ago.

“It was nice to get some revenge,” said Castro. “I was upset after the match at Davidson, but when I found out I got to play her again, I was pumped.”

Groeneveld won her fifth straight singles match to move to 5-0 in the fall, while fellow classmates Storozheva and Zurawel moved to 2-0 in singles play with victories in flights seven and eight.

“I was happy with our fight,” said assistant coach Kirstin Burgess. “We came from behind and won in a few doubles and singles matches, and we won most of our third set tiebreak matches.”

The remaining singles matches against Charlotte were cancelled due to rain. The Pirates resume play October 4-5 at the ECU Invitational.

Friday, September 20
Charlotte vs. East Carolina (doubles)
1. Nicole Laduca/Neena Wanko (ECU) def. Lisa Grosselius/Macy Vonderschmidt (CHA) 8-5
2. Michelle Castro/Emily Groeneveld (ECU) def. Jessica Pérez/Natsuko Takayanagi (CHA) 9-7
3. Dana Gray/Melis Tanik (ECU) def. Briana Bodner (CHA)/Caroline Lindsey (CAM) 8-0

Campbell vs. East Carolina (doubles)
1. Nicole Laduca/Neena Wanko (ECU) def. Karolina Chernaya/Nell Gaigher (CAM) 8-6
2. Natasha Afridi/Tamara Stanic (CAM) def. Michelle Castro/Emily Groeneveld (ECU) 8-3
3. Dana Gray/Melis Tanik (ECU) def. Ana Maria Ortiz/Claudia Ortiz (CAM) 8-4
4. Maria Storozheva/Betsy Zurawel (ECU) def. Kristen Renz/Ewa Telenga (CAM) 8-3

East Carolina vs. UNC Greensboro (singles)
1. Melis Tanik (ECU) DNP
2. Neena Wanko (ECU) def. Steph Falcon (UNCG) 4-6, 6-1, 11-9
3. Jamie Grinberg (UNCG) def. Michelle Castro (ECU) 6-4, 3-6, 10-5
4. Nicole LaDuca (ECU) def. Yasmin Franco (UNCG) 6-2, 6-2
5. Emily Groeneveld (ECU) def. Amy Ellis (UNCG) 3-6, 6-2, 10-0
6. Masey Demoss (UNCG) def. Dana Gray (ECU) 6-3, 7-6 (5)
7. Maria Storozheva (ECU) def. Asha Iyengar (UNCG) 6-3, 5-7, 11-9
8. Betsy Zurawel (ECU) def. Alisha Burton (UNCG) 6-0, 6-2

Saturday, September 21
East Carolina vs. UNC Greensboro (doubles)
1. Yasmin Franco/Jamie Grinberg (UNCG) def. Nicole Laduca/Neena Wanko (ECU) 8-6
2. Michelle Castro/Emily Groeneveld (ECU) def. Amy Ellis/Steph Falcon (UNCG) 8-5
3. Dana Gray/Melis Tanik (ECU) def. Alisha Burton/Masey Demoss (UNCG) 8-2

Campbell vs. East Carolina (singles)
1. Karolina Chernaya (CAM) def. Melis Tanik (ECU) 7-5, 3-6, 10-3
2. Nell Gaigher (CAM) def. Neena Wanko (ECU) 6-7 (6), 6-2, 10-8
3. Michelle Castro (ECU) def. Tamara Stanic (CAM) 6-3, 7-6 (6)
4. Nicole LaDuca (ECU) DNP
5. Emily Groeneveld (ECU) def. Ana Maria Ortiz (CAM) 7-5, 7-5
6. Ewa Telenga (CAM) def. Dana Gray (ECU) 7-5, 6-0
7. Maria Storozheva (ECU) def. Claudia Ortiz (CAM) 6-4, 6-2
8. Betsy Zurawel (ECU) def. Kristen Renz (CAM) 4-6, 6-2, 10-5