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College Tennis

Lutjen, Lao light up Day 1 at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships

November 9, 2012 09:12 AM
Danielle Lao shocked No. 2 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar 6-1, 6-2.
Jonas Lutjen knocked off No. 2 Peter Kobelt 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(1).
Mac Styslinger upset No. 3 Matija Pecotic 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
Top seeded Lauren Embree of Florida fought her way into the round of 16
FLUSHING, N.Y. -- The first day of the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Columbia University at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., is complete. 
 
Five of the eight seeds in the men's singles draw advanced to the round of 16 while two of the top three seeds were shocked in the opening round of play.  Jonas Lutjen of Mississippi knocked off 2012 ITA All-American runner-up Peter Kobelt of Ohio State.  "Kobelt, he's a really great server and indoors it's always hard playing against guys like that" said Lutjen. "I had some chances here and there [in the first set] but I took my chances better the second time, played a little more aggressive and that made me win the second set."
 
"It came down to a tiebreaker and I got off to a quick start" raved Lutjen, who after dropping the first set, rallied to take the next two, winning 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(1). "I was playing well and I was pretty focused. I just really wanted to win."  
 
Freshman standout Mac Styslinger of Virginia provided the other major upset today as defeated Princeton's Matija Pecotic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. "I got some first serves and took advantage of my break opportunities to start," Styslinger explained. "In the second set I didn't play badly. I couldn't break him when I had 0-40 on his serve, so that frustrated me a little bit. In the last set I broke him right off the bat to go up 3-0. He played a couple of good games after that and I got a little tight, but I put together three good games at the end to finish it off."
 
Two other seeded players were pushed to three sets but came out on the winning end.  Seventh seeded Nik Scholtz of Mississippi avoided the upset by beating UCLA's Dennis Mkrtchian, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. On the other half of the draw, UCLA teammate Marcos Giron survived a hometown favorite in Elon's Cameron Silverman, a Mount Kisco, N.Y. native. Giron took a tight first set at 7-5 before Silverman dictated play in the second set to a claim it at 6-2.  In the third, Silverman fought off several match points before Giron pulled through in a tiebreaker, winning the match, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(2).
 
All three seeded teams in the men's doubles draw won their opening round matches today. 2012 ITA All-American doubles champs Dan Cochrane and Andreas Mies of Auburn had to fight their way into the quarterfinals. After recording an early break of serve, the top seeded duo held off Tennessee's John Collins and Mikelis Libietis to win, 8-6.  Duke's Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler, the tournament's second seeded team, breezed through their only match of the day, winning 8-2 over Texas A&M's freshmen pair of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant. The final seed to make it through to the quarterfinals was Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger, who survived a nail biter against local favorite's Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur from Columbia, 9-8(4). 
 
The Round of 32 in the women's singles draw featured only one match that went the distance, as Northwestern's Kate Turvy battled her way past USTA/ITA Super Bowl Champion Barbora Krtickova of Armstrong Atlantic State 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4). Krtickova was in control of the majority of the rallies throughout the match, but she failed to capitalize on a number of opportunities late in the set. Turvy's defense was the decisive factor, as her ability to get balls back in play continually frustrated her opponent.
 
Two of the eight seeds fell victim to the upset in the opening round. Second-seeded Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar of Texas A&M found herself in trouble quickly against USC's Danielle Lao in a battle of veterans. Lao seized control of the match early with her precise groundstrokes, never allowing Sanchez-Quintanar an opportunity to work her way into the match. Lao claimed an easy 6-1, 6-2 victory to set up an all Pac-12 showdown with Cal's Anett Schutting. 
 
"I wouldn't say it was a quick start," Lao stated. "We had about a 30 minute first game. I'm not sure how many deuces we had. The guys next to us finished about four games, but I just told myself I would stay out there as long as I had to. I felt like I was very efficient, precise and diligent today." 
 
The other seeded player to go down on day one was Lao's teammate Zoe Scandalis, seeded third. Scandalis' defense and consistency was no match for the attacking brand of tennis played by Tennessee's Brynn Boren. The Lady Vol cruised through the first set 6-1, and after faltering slightly late in the second, closed it out 6-2 to advance to the round of 16, where she will take on Gator freshman Danielle Collins.
 
The opening round of doubles action was highlighted by the Virginia duo of Maci Epstein and Erin Vierra defeating UCLA's Robin Anderson and Pamela Montez 9-8(4). The Cavalier tandem seemed to be the underdog going into the match, with both Anderson and Montez ranked inside the top five of the Campbell/ITA Women's Doubles rankings with different partners. However, Epstein and Vierra continued to hang with the Bruin pair, who finally cracked late in the tiebreak.
 
Only one of the four doubles seeds were defeated in the round of 16 thanks to another upset delivered by the Cavaliers. The fourth-seeded team of Melissa Kopinski and Rachael White from Illinois fell behind early against Stephanie Nauta and Li Xi. With doubles matches only being one eight-game pro set, there is little margin for error, and the Fighting Illini simply ran out of time to stage a comeback, falling 8-4. Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans of William and Mary, seeded third, were also challenged in their opening match against Columbia wild card Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga. Belaya and Loomans raced out to a big lead and were just able to hold off a late charge from the Lions to advance with an 8-6 triumph.
 
Ken Thomas of RadioTennis.com will continue to provide a live broadcast throughout the tournament, beginning at 10:15 a.m. ET each day.
 
For complete coverage of the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, including access to draws, live scores and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Flushing. Use the hashtag #NationalIndoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "NationalIndoors" to find others who are tweeting from the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, Nov. 8-11.
 

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