WATERLOO, Iowa - The Ashford University women's tennis team turned in a strong showing at the inaugural Ashford Invitational on Sunday, with the team succeeding in both singles and doubles play.
The step towards building a contending team began on over the weekend, as six Saints reached their bracket's final match in singles play, only to be called off due to inclement weather.
"There was a lot of tough competition in this tournament," Saints Head Coach Chad Fenwick said. "I felt that our girls played extremely well this weekend. It would have been nice if the rain would have held off, but this is a positive step forward for our team and our program."
Junior Anastasia Dabiza of Skokie, Ill. reached the semi-finals of the #1 singles bracket after winning her first round matchup against Doane's Allison Pfiefer 6-1, 6-0. Dabiza would fall in the semis, 6-1, 6-2 to Katee Sanderson of St. Joes.
Freshman Montseratt Elizondo of San Luis Potosi, Mexico cruised through her first match against Sioux Falls' Karlee Sieve 6-1, 6-1 and second match against Antigone Lowery of Judson, 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the finals of the # 2 singles bracket before rain intervened.
Freshman Andriena Guedez of Caracas, Venezuela knocked off St. Joes' Brooke Foltz 6-4, 6-3 and Sioux Falls' Morgan Delange 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 to advance to the finals of the #3 singles bracket before the finals were called off.
Freshman Ana Mayagoitia of Nuevo Leon, Mexico took her first match in the #4 singles bracket, knocking off St. Joes' Natalie Burgeson 6-1, 6-2, as well as her semi-final match against Judson's Kristen Kress 6-1, 6-2.
Freshman Sami Melcher of Viroqua, Wisconsin had a first-round bye in the #5 singles bracket, but she easily handled Judson's Marisa Gauss 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the finals.
Freshman Sara Vach of LaCrosse, Wis. knocked off Doane's Erica Malleck 6-2, 6-0 in the opening match of the #6 singles bracket, before knocking off St. Francis' Heather Storm in the semis, 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 to advance to the finals.
Two Saints competed in the #7 singles bracket, each advancing to the finals. Sophomore Theresa Stumpf of Stuttgart, Germany swept through the opening round, knocking off Doane's Candace Crider 6-0, 6-0 before knocking off St. Francis' Shannon Mudro 6-2, 6-3 in the semis. Freshman Jessica Albers of Rochelle, Ill. beat St. Joes' Josie Jones 6-1, 6-1 and Judson's Brittany Boelter in the semis.
Dabiza and Elizondo teamed up to take fourth in doubles, recording their only win in the first set against Judson, 8-6. The pair would fall to St. Francis 8-4 in the semis, and Missouri Valley 9-8 (7-4) in the third place match.
Guedez and Mayagoitia competed in the #2 doubles bracket, falling to St. Francis 8-3, knocking off Doane 8-2 and falling to Sioux Falls 8-5 in the 5th place match.
Melcher and Vach were victorious in the #3 doubles bracket, winning their matches against St. Joes (8-6), Judson (8-4) and St. Francis (8-0). Albers and Stumpf finished sixth in that bracket after their matches against Judson (6-8), Sioux Falls (8-6) and St. Joes (4-8).
The Saints will be back in action on Wednesday, when they host a dual meet against Wartburg College at 4 p.m.