Set for the biggest invite of their season so far, the UConn women’s tennis team will pack their bags and play in the Army Invite this coming weekend. From Sept. 22-24, the Huskies will join 18 other schools in West Point, New York for the annual invite.
This invite is unlike any that UConn has played so far this season. It follows the traditional tournament format, including five singles brackets (or flights) and two doubles flights. Each flight consists of 32 players, meaning there are over 140 singles participants and 70 doubles teams. Last year the Huskies didn’t have the best showing. Out of seven singles players, four advanced past the opening round of 32 and only one, senior Nansi Toskova, advanced to the following quarterfinal round. In doubles, the Flight A partnership of junior Maria Constantinou and senior Aleksandra Karamyshev advanced to the quarter finals before being defeated, and the Flight B pairing of Toskova and Denise Lai (who has since graduated) advanced to the second round. After losing her opening game, sophomore Cameron Didion went on a tear and ended up winning the Flight D consolation championship.
UConn players to watch
Based on their recent play, Constantinou and Wright should be the premier players for the Huskies for the tournament. Although they would’ve liked to do better at the last one, they’ve shown clear improvement since then. Both players have yet to lose a match in singles play through two weeks.
Toskova was the top performer at the tournament last year, so there will be eyes on her to see if she can replicate her singles play this season. For doubles, Karamyshev returns and could partner back up with Constantinou to try and make a run back to the quarterfinals and beyond.
What to expect
With the new faces on the team and the entire squad playing some of their best tennis, anything is possible, and any player could make a run at a flight championship. As mentioned, the only hardware won in the last tournament was Didion’s Flight D Consolation Championship, but there’s no reason why UConn can’t add some more to the trophy cabinet. While this is by far their toughest competition yet, their level of play to this point is a sign that the Huskies can make some noise this weekend.