The Seton Hall women’s tennis team completed its fall season this past weekend, taking part in the 2016 ITA Regional Championship hosted by Yale University. The team brought four players: juniors Luize Strike and Katie Him and sophomores Anna Fajnorova and Thandy Kangwa.
The Pirates started the tournament on Thursday with Anna Fajnorova needing two wins to qualify for the main draw. Fajnorova got off to a hot start by taking down Fordham’s Mayu Sato in straight sets and followed that win up with another win over Connecticut’s Summer Walker to earn her spot in the field of 96 women.
Friday’s play began with the doubles team of junior Luize Strike and the sophomore Fajnorova taking on the pair of Sarah Stuhlman and Diana Prinos from Fairfield. The Pirates won that match decisively with an 8-4 victory. The pair of Strike and Fajnorova looked to continue their success in doubles play but were slimly beaten in a hard-fought match against a tough team from Harvard consisting of June Lee and Eric Oosterhout.
Now it was time for the second team of Seton Hall doubles to hit the courts. Junior Katie Kim and sophomore Thandy Kangwa lost their first-round match 8-5 to the pair of Madison Battaglia and Valerie Shklover from host school Yale.
With singles play ready to begin, Anna Fajnorova looked to continue her hot start from qualifiers against Rutgers’ Jacqueline Cochrane. Fajnorova’s bid for the second round fell short as she lost in straight but competitive sets.
Day three on Saturday brought the Hall’s final singles player to action, junior Strike. After receiving a first round bye, Strike tried to carry over her strong play from doubles action the day before. Strike faced Syracuse’s Dina Hegab, whom she beat in straight sets to advance to the round of 32. After winning a hard-fought first set against Columbia’s Ali Pollack, Strike’s attempt to reach the round of 16 fell short when she dropped the final two sets 7-5 and 6-3, respectively.
The Pirates will now take some time off from play and train for their championship season. The Hall opens up championship play Jan. 21-22 at NJIT.
Nick Santoriello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NickSantoriello.