FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Freshmen Katrina Elder-Bush (Boston, MA) and the doubles tandem of Helen Magomedova (Brooklyn, NY) and Ketevan Shmakova (Dover, NJ) provided the major highlights this weekend as the Rutgers women’s tennis team competed in the presegious USTA Invitational at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY.
The USTA Invitational featured 22 teams from all regions of the country, including several nationally ranked squads – North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Harvard, Penn and Boston College.
In Flight C doubles, Magomedova and Shmakova advanced to the finals where they eventually lost a hard-fought 9-7 decision. In the semifinals, they defeated a pair from Georgetown, 9-8 (5). Prior to that, they knocked off teams from Georgetown and Cornell.
“This is a significant accomplishment both for Helen and Ketevan as individuals and also for the team,” said head coach Ben Bucca. “We’ve been playing well in doubles for the entire fall season, so it’s not surprising to see this result. With play like this, it raises the profile for our program.”
Elder-Bush recorded two impressive wins in Flight B singles, knocking off players from North Carolina State and South Carolina. In the second round, she lost a tight match to top-seeded Blakeley Griffith of Tennessee (6-3, 6-3).
“This was Katrina’s highest quality of play,” said Bucca. “It says a lot about her potential that she was able to compete so well at a high level. Overall, the team played very well and that is encouraging to see at this stage of the fall season.”
In singles, Shmakova competed in Flight C singles, Lauren Edelschein (Medford Lakes, NJ) and Alina Balasa (East Brunswick, NJ) were RU’s entries in Flight D singles and Anela Dujsic (Mississauga, Ontario) won a match in Flight E singles. Jill Markowitz (Forest Hills, NY) lost a pair of hard-fought matches in Flight A singles. Markowirz also competed in Flight B doubles. In Flight A doubles, Dujsic and Elder-Bush dropped a pair of matches.
The Scarlet Knights are back in action from Friday, Oct. 22 through Monday, Oct. 25 at the ITA Regionals, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania.