Dale Long, Director of Sports Information
ROME, Ga. – Georgia Gwinnett College women’s tennis players will compete for singles and doubles NAIA national championships after a series of strong performances Saturday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Oracle Cup at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Georgia.
Junior Maria Genovese had three victories, including triumphs in the semifinal round of both brackets. The semifinal wins came in much different ways.
First, Genovese scored a decisive 6-1, 6-1 victory against freshman Grizzly teammate Eva Siska to secure a spot in the singles championship match. The tournament’s No. 1 seed has won all three of her singles matches in straight sets.
She will now face Lailaa Bashir of Xavier University (Louisiana) for the NAIA women’s singles national title on Sunday, October 18, at 9 a.m. Bashir defeated GGC freshman Yelyzaveta Velykorodna 6-4, 6-2 in Saturday’s other semifinal match.
In doubles, Genovese teamed with Siska to register a pair of wins Saturday over opponents from Indiana Wesleyan University. They opened with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against the tandem of Aynara Armas and Ellie Snider. Then, the GGC team saved off two match points to knock off Madelyn Bemisderfer and Thewuni Devaraja in a classic three-set semifinal match, winning the deciding set by a 12-10 score.
“That doubles match was certainly entertaining,” said head coach Chase Hodges. “We were very fortunate to pull that out. Saving two match points was huge. Maria is going to see her opponent twice tomorrow, first in singles and then in doubles. She is use to this position after playing in last year’s (ITA Oracle Cup) final.”
Now, Genovese-Siska team will play a team from Xavier in Sunday’s doubles national championship match, scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.