Following a strong finish at the Quinnipiac Invitational, the UConn women’s tennis team brought the same energy to their home courts at the UConn Invitational this weekend. After facing their state rivals last week, the Huskies faced Bryant, Wesleyan and Sacred Heart, going 12-5 in singles and winning eight out of nine doubles matches.
As this was just the second week for the new additions to the team – Maria Constantinou, Nansi Toskova, Olivia Wright and Cameron Didion – they showed what they can bring to the game and to the team.
Freshman Didion from Orlando, Florida, had an outstanding performance this weekend, going 3-0 in singles. She took down Jasmine Caballero from Bryant 7-5, 6-0, and carried that energy over to the Wesleyan matchup, beating Katie Fleischman 6-2, 1-6, 10-8. She topped it off with another win against Sacred Heart’s Renee Sharma 6-2, 7-6, leading the Huskies.
Constantinou, a sophomore from Nicosia, Cyprus, started her weekend off playing Natalia Vela, losing 6-7, 6-3, 10-5. This did not stop Constantinou. From just watching her in the stands she showed that she is a strong player and always gives 110%. The energy she radiates is unmatchable. While facing Bryant in her singles match, Constantinou won against Kristina Yu, 6-2, 6-4. Moving onto her doubles match with her teammate Aleksandra Karamyshev, the Huskies took another win against Wesleyan’s Manuela Gomez-Estrada and Vela, going 6-1. Constantinou struck again against Sacred Heart, winning both her singles and doubles matches. The sophomore Constantinou ended the weekend on a positive note.
“It’s been a tough week’s competition with the teams, I’m really grateful we all came in today and put in 100% effort and positive energy,” Constantinou said. Tough matches all around but team effort and great competitiveness gave us a win against Sacred Heart.
Another centerpiece to this weekend was Wright from Glen Allen, VA. Wright’s weekend resulted in a 2-0 finish in singles and 3-0 in doubles. Even though Toskova fell somewhat short this weekend, losing 2-1 in singles and 3-2 in doubles, Toskova showed strength and promise she can bring to the court.
It goes without saying that head coach Glenn Marshall was very pleased by this weekend’s performance.
“Playing three of the five teams here this weekend, we won about 85 percent of the matches, singles and doubles,” Marshall said postgame. “With the new season, new doubles teams were formed, we had some good matchups that we really liked what we saw throughout the weekend. Getting to see our four new players [on] the team and how they compete and coach them as we go [was good for the team]. Very optimistic with the level of play that we showed early on. The first two weekends we played, to have the wins and percentages we did, it was very positive.”
UConn will be sure to review their plays this week, to show peak performance for the next five weekends. The powerful Huskies are looking forward to their next slate of games at the Army Invitational at West Point. The tournament will take place this upcoming Friday to Sunday.