Tennis doubles partners leave on low note

By By Marco Villano

By Marco Villano

Every female senior athlete wants to end her career on a high note. However, for the U’s Elizabeth Ferris and Emily Kwok, the ideal finish was cut short. Ferris and Kwok were beat 2-1 by Auburn’s Alex Haney and Melissa Koning in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships.

Ferris and Kwok were the only players from the U invited to the championships Thursday in Tulsa, Okla. The pair went into the championships ranked No. 25 in the nation. Head coach Matt Iandolo thought the Utes got a draw that would suit Ferris and Kwok well.

“This is as good of a draw as they could have,” Iandolo said.

Ferris and Kwok proved they belonged in their match against the Tigers as it began with a tough battle for the first set. The top U doubles team sent the first set into a tiebreaker and edged Auburn with a 7-6 win. After the first set tiebreaker, Auburn turned on the heat and won the next two sets with ease 6-3, 6-3, putting an end to Ferris and Kwok’s season and collegiate careers.

“It was a long, hard-fought match,” Iandolo said. “(Ferris) and (Kwok) played a solid collegiate tennis match, and they had lots of chances. It’s a sad way for them to end their college careers, but I’m very proud of them.”

Ferris and Kwok were also standout singles players for the U throughout their respective careers. In January of this year, Iandolo paired the stars together, which turned out to be a great move for the team. As doubles partners, the pair finished with a record of 19-5 this season and a trip to the NCAA doubles championships.

At the Mountain West Conference tournament, Ferris and Kwok started off the U’s quarterfinals match up against BYU with a big win over No. 48 ranked Anastasia Surkova and Jennifer Miccoli.

The win was part of a 4-0 romp that propelled the Utes to a first-round victory and a second-round match against top-seeded TCU. Although the team lost their semifinal match against the Horned Frogs, Ferris and Kwok played exceptionally well on their way to upsetting the No. 16 tandem of Macall Harkins and Anna Sydorska with a score of 8-5. The Ute pair was rewarded with an invitation to the NCAA Championships.

With the loss of their two top-seeded players, the U will look toward others to fill the roles next season. It shouldn’t be a problem finding players to step up next season because the Utes are a fairly young team. They had two sophomores, Erin Monson and Andrea Maughn, who played in the top six. The U also has Evgenia Kryuchkova, the MWC’s Freshman of the Year.[email protected]