The Seton Hall women’s tennis team competed at the West Point Invitational at the United States Military Academy from Friday to Sunday, where the Pirates had three players earn main draw quarterfinal appearances.
For the Pirates, it was the freshmen who led the way in the 18-team tournament. Anna Fajnorova and Thandy Kangwa each advanced into the final-eight of the B flight singles main draw.
In her first collegiate appearance, Fajnorova, seeded eighth, advanced into the semifinal round by rattling off three consecutive victories as she opened with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Claudia Hellmamn of Saint Peter’s, and then defeated Fairleigh Dickinson’s Gisela Castany in three sets to advance to the quarterfinals. Fajnorova made quick work of Connecticut’s Jackie Fitz-Randolph in a 6-1, 6-3 win that placed her among the final four, where she would eventually fall to eventual champion Jane Stewart of Cornell.
Kangwa, who was seeded seventh in the tournament, had defeated Akron’s Carlie Knezevich and Army’s own Nan Porter to advance to the quarterfinal round. Both Kangwa and Fajnorova would also deliver a pair of victories on the doubles court for Seton Hall. They recorded wins over Lehigh’s Grace Lin and Cassidy Cruz as well as the mixed duo of Nathalie Habegger of NJIT and Rafaella Sampaio of Binghamton of in A flight consolation play.
Senior Isabell Klingert and sophomore Katie Kim advanced to the round of 16 after consecutive wins in the first two rounds in the fourth singles bracket. Kim recorded victories over Amanda Helminsky of NJIT and Tori Oates of Sacred Heart while Klingert moved past the NJIT’S Alba Rosas and Destiny Grunin of Fordham. As a pair, they accounted for SHU’s third quarterfinal appearance of the weekend, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 12-to-6, in B Doubles wins against pairs representing Binghamton and Marist.
Sophomore Luize Strike and senior Hannah Liljekvist were also able to advance to the round of 16 in doubles play, but in A flight. They defeated Katie DiRienzo and Lindsey Post of Sacred Heart, 6-3. Individually, Strike moved into the quarterfinals in A singles play, earning a pair of wins along the way. Liljekvist, an All-Big East selection last year, defeated Marist’s Karly Pang in straight sets.
Julia Keenan similarly advanced in third singles competition with an opening round win over the Army’s Haley O’Connor, while Marisa Quevedo earned a consolation win against Stephanie Falcon of St. Peter’s.
The Pirates next competition will be held in Annapolis, Md., on Friday, Oct. 9 to begin a three-day tournament at the Navy Blue & Gold Invitational.