ITHACA, NY – Freshman Dana Gordon (Atlantic City, NJ) made her collegiate debut an impressive one, claiming the Flight C singles title at the season-opening Cornell Invitational this weekend. In addition, Gordon also teamed with Alina Balasa (East Brunswick, NJ) to claim the Flight B doubles title.
Gordon received a bye in the first round of the singles draw and then proceeded to defeat Katrin Fisher of Buffalo, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) to advance to the semifinals. This morning, she knocked off Lean Vo of Colgate and then won a marathon 3-6, 7-6 (7-1) 14-12 decision in the finals over Natalie Szpakowski of Cornell in the finals. Gordon’s title was the first ever by a Rutgers player in a main draw flight at the Cornell Invitational.
“Dana’s win was great to see,” said head coach Ben Bucca. “She battled hard throughout the entire weekend and showed a lot about her competitiveness to come back in the second set of the finals. Her victory was well-deserved and will give her a lot of confidence right out of the gate.”
Not to be outdone, Gordon and Balasa earned an 8-4 victory over Jessica Shurtz and Christine Ong of Army in the finals of the Flight B doubles draw. They advanced to the finals with an 8-6 triumph over Melanie Tu and Catherine Duboc of Cornell in the semifinals and an 8-3 quarterfinal win.
Keteven Shmakova (Dover, NJ) and Jill Markowitz (Forest Hills, NY) rebounded from an opening-round loss in Flight A doubles to won two matches to advance to the consolation finals, where they dropped a hard-fought 9-8 (7-4) decision to Liying Wang and Nisha Suda of Cornell.
“Our doubles play has traditionally been outstanding, and that was certainly the case this weekend,” said head Bucca. “It’s a very good sign moving forward in the fall that we can get consistent production and results from our doubles teams.”
Sophomore Katrina Elder-Bush went 1-1 in Flight A singles, defeating Gwen Dwyer of Lehigh in the first round, 6-3, 6-3. She lost to Liz Googe of Cornell in the second round, 6-4, 6-3. Also in Flight A singles, Balasa lost to Andrea Navaceanu of Buffalo in the first round and was forced to default due to injury in the second round.
Markowitz rebounded from a opening-round loss to Dana Cruite of Cornell to earn a 6-2, 6-3 win over Starr Foster in the consolation round of Flight B singles. Anela Dujsic (Mississauga, Ontario) dropped a 6-3, 6-4 decision to Shayna Miller of Cornell in the first round.