The Arkansas State women's tennis started off its spring schedule Saturday by picking up seven wins at the Florida Gulf Coast University Spring Invitational at the FGCU Tennis Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.
Tamara Slijepcevic and Julie Gauguery advanced to the semifinals in their respective singles flights by winning two matches on the day. Slijepcevic got to the semifinals of Flight A by defeating Florida Atlantic's Catalina Ene in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in her first match and recording a tough 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 victory over FGCU's Breana Stampfli in the quarterfinals. Gauguery recorded a 6-1, 6-4 win over Iowa State's Lydia Green in the first round of Flight B and knocked off Northwestern State's Aliona Ladutska when Ladutska retired from the match with the score 6-0, 2-0 in favor of Gauguery.
In other Flight A singles action, Biljana Miloshevska advanced by defeating Iowa State's Samantha Budai in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, but lost to FGCU's Sarah Means 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. A-State's Janie Nowland also won her first match by recording a hard-fought 4-6, 6-1, 11-9 victory over FAU's Kandis Legall, but she would fall in the quarterfinals to Iowa State's Ksenia Pronina 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Arkansas State's Jess Heeps-Eriksen defeated Iowa State's Emma Waites 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 in the first round of Flight B, but fell to Northwestern State's Kateryna Piatakova 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Victoria Pisani lost her first match in Flight B to Elizabeth Means of Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 6-2, 6-1 and fell to FAU's Stephanie Cardullo 6-2, 6-3 in her second match.
"We played some great matches today," A-State women's tennis coach Marina Engelbrecht said. "Tamara and Julie had two great wins each. Overall it was a good day."
A-State's Chiara Stefanov and Sofia Krsmanovic fell in their Flight C singles matches with Stefanov dropping a 7-5, 6-4 decision to FAU's Taylor Briggs, while Krsmanovic lost to Northwestern State's Petya Simeonova 6-4, 6-4.
The Red Wolves struggled once the competition turned to doubles. Slijepcevic/Nowland lost to Iowa State's Cassens/Gasparovic 6-3 in Flight A while Stefanov/Krsmanovic and Heeps-Eriksen/Pisani lost their matches in Flight B.
"It was a good first day of competing after two months off, but we are looking to improve on our doubles play tomorrow," Engelbrecht added.
Arkansas State continues play in the FGCU Spring Invitational Sunday morning at the FGCU Tennis Complex. Action gets underway at 8 a.m. (CT) with a round of doubles play before singles play resumes.
SINGLES- FLIGHT A
Round of 16
Janie Nowland (A-State) def. Kandis Legall (FAU) – 4-6, 6-1, 11-9
Tamara Slijepcevic (A-State) def. Catalina Ene (FAU) – 6-3, 6-2
Biljana Miloshevska (A-State) def. Samantha Budai (ISU) – 7-5, 6-3
Tamara Slijepcevic (A-State) def. Breana Stampfli (FGCU) – 2-6, 6-3, 10-8
Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Biljana Miloshevska (A-State) – 6-3, 6-2
Ksenia Pronina (ISU) def. Janie Nowland (A-State) – 7-6 (5), 6-3
SINGLES- FLIGHT B
Round of 16
Jess Heeps-Eriksen (A-State) def. Emma Waites (ISU) – 6-1, 3-6, 10-6
Julie Gauguery (A-State) def. Lydia Green (ISU) – 6-1, 6-4
Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Victoria Pisani (A-State) – 6-2, 6-1
Kateryna Piatakova (NSU) def. Jess Heeps-Eriksen (A-State) – 6-2, 6-0
Julie Gauguery (A-State) def. Aliona Ladutska (NSU) – 6-0, 2-0 (retired)
Stephanie Cardullo (FAU) def. Victoria Pisani (A-State) – 6-2, 6-3
SINGLES- FLIGHT C
Petya Simeonova (NSU) def. Sofia Krsmanovic (A-State) – 6-4, 6-4
Taylor Briggs (FAU) def. Chiara Stefanov (A-State) – 7-5, 6-4
DOUBLES- FLIGHT A
Cassens/Gasparovic (ISU) def. Nowland/Slijepcevic (A-State) – 6-3
DOUBLES- FLIGHT B
Krutova/Piatakova (NSU) def. Heeps-Eriksen/Pisani (A-State) – 6-1
Briggs/Legall (FAU) def. Krsmanovic/Stefanov (A-State) – 7-5