CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2019) – Four members of the 21st-ranked Caltech women's tennis team will contend against the best players in the region at this weekend's Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III West Regional Championship.
Sophomores Anna Tifrea (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy) and Michelle Hyun (Cerritos, Calif. / Gretchen Whitney) return to the Flight A singles tournament for a second consecutive year following a mixed showing in 2018. Tifrea will face one of the toughest singles tests of the day for any Beaver when she takes on seeded Janie Marcus of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in the first round. The sophomore, however, has improved greatly since her appearance in last year's tournament and will be a player to keep an eye on if she is able to upset the Sagehens' newcomer. Hyun, meanwhile, is set up to face Lexi Lehman from the University of Redlands. The two players met last year, with Lehman coming out on top in a match the Beavers went on to win, 5-4. If Hyun can successfully avenge last year's regular season defeat, she will likely meet third-seeded Maria Lyven of the Sagehens in the second round. Freshman teammate Nina Solovyeva (Houston, Texas / Memorial) will make her debut for the Beavers in Hyun's half of the draw. The rookie will meet seeded Sydney Lee from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in the first round and could pose problems as a player in the draw many are not as familiar with going into this weekend. The 260th-ranked player in her recruiting class could put a run together if she is able to get past Lee, but also faces the possibility of facing off with top-seeded Catherine Allen of CMS down the line. Caltech's fourth singles player, junior Ankita Roychoudhury (Madison, Conn. / Daniel Hand), will represent the Beavers in the Flight B draw. Roychoudhury is lined up to face Maddi Schmidt of Whittier College in the first round and has the potential to match up with seeded Nicole Alvarez of California Lutheran University in the second round with a victory.
Each of the four Caltech singles players will also be participating in the women's doubles tournament. Tifrea and Hyun, who teamed together five times as freshmen, enter the weekend as one of the bracket's eight seeded teams and have drawn Whittier's Sinigdha Baruah and Kallysta Lopez in the first round. The Beavers' other pair, Roychoudhury and Solovyeva, will also take on a Whittier doubles team, Amanda Rodriguez and Maddi Schmidt. Both teams are positioned on opposite sides of the draw and this weekend will provide the young Beavers some valuable experience heading into a pivotal 2020 season. Should they continue to advance, both duos could run into any of the tournament's top two seeded teams, both of which belong to CMS.
Friday, Oct. 4
#5 Hyun/Tifrea d. Baruah/Lopez (WC), 8-2
Roychoudhury/Solovyeva d. Rodriguez/Schmidt (WC), 8-4
Flight A Singles
Tifrea d. #5 Marcus (PP), 6-0, 6-2
Hyun d. Lehman (RED), 6-1, 6-3
#5 Lee (CMS) d. Solovyeva, 6-1, 6-1
Shea (CMS) d. Tifrea, 6-4, 7-5
#3 Lyven (PP) d. Hyun, 6-0, 6-2
Flight A Singles Consolation
Solovyeva d. Phillips (CU), 6-1, 6-2
Flight B Singles
Roychoudhury d. Schmidt (WC), 7-5, 6-4
#5 Alvarez (CLU) d. Roychoudhury, 6-0, 6-2
Saturday, Oct. 5
Juan/Kern (CMS) d. #5 Hyun/Tifrea, 8-3
Bryan-Ajania/Wolfe (CMS) d. Roychoudhury/Solovyeva, 8-1
Flight A Singles Consolation
Solovyeva d. Foreman (CLU), 6-2; 1-6; 1-0(8)
Kern (CMS) d. Solovyeva, 6-0, 6-1