Utah State women's tennis started off strong at the ITA Regionals in Salt Lake City on Wednesday as five Aggies posted victories in their opening round in singles.
In singles, Utah State faced a pair of Mountain West opponents. Senior Maggie O'Meara won 6-4, 6-3 against Wyoming's Tessa van der Ploeg. Sophomore Rhoda Tanui also faced a conference foe but lost 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 to UNLV's Jovana Kenic. Senior Sabrina Demerath had a straight-set victory over Colorado's Ilana Oleynik, winning the first set 7-5 and only losing one game in the second set to win 6-1. Sophomores Sophia Haleas and Hannah Jones were nearly perfect in their first-round singles matches against University of Northern Colorado opponents. Both Aggies only dropped one game as Haleas won 6-1, 6-0 against Mana Koitabashi and Jones had a 6-0, 6-1 win over Carrigan Blanchard. Junior Jenna Kane had a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Weber State's McKenna Lloyd. Freshman Sasha Pisareva had a first-round bye.
"I was very happy with how we competed today as a team," head coach Sean McInerney said. "We did a good job working on the things we have been emphasizing and stayed focused on getting better. Going 5-1 in singles today was very good, and we are looking forward to the challenge that tomorrow's match-ups will bring."
In the round of 64 doubles, Pisareva and Jones defeated Montana's Cam Kincaid and Bianco Bostrom, 8-1. O'Meara and freshman Alexandra Tayloralso only lost one game in an 8-1 victory over Nevada's Melissa Huchet and Lili Fekete. Demerath and Tanui lost 8-6 to UNLV's Anna Bogaslavets and Samantha Li. Haleas and Kane lost 8-4 to Utah's Whitney Turley and Leah Heimuli.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.