`Dogs Advance in First Day of Cal Nike Invitational
Sept. 26, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's tennis team quickly showed why they are among the nation's best on Friday. All six Bulldogs competing at the Cal Nike Invitational picked up wins in their first tournament of the fall season, as Fresno State won a total of 10 out of 13 matches on the day.
Senior Melanie Gloria, who is ranked No. 12 in singles, set the tone in her first match against Milica Zivanovic of Sacramento State. Gloria controlled the match and went on to a 6-1, 6-0 victory to advance to the Round of 16 of the gold bracket.
Gloria's match in the round of 16 was one of the most exciting matches of the day. Gloria and McCall Jones of BYU played a marathon of a match that neither deserved to lose. Gloria came out on top, taking the match in three sets, 7-6(7), 1-6, 7-5.
"This was a good win for Melanie, she played an opponent that was on top of her game," Head Coach Simon Thibodeau said. "She found a way to win, and played great in the clutch."
Bulldog teammate junior Anastasia Petukhova, also featured in the gold bracket, started the day ranked No. 16. Like Gloria, Petukhova was also victorious in her first match of the day, with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Luba Schifris of Sacramento State to earn a spot in the Round of 16.
Petukhova went on to pick put a win in her second match of the day, downing Jana Juricova of Cal 6-4, 6-4 to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.
Freshman Abigail Olivier was the third and final Bulldog included in the gold bracket. Olivier, competing for the first time as a Bulldog, faced Claire Soper of St. Mary's. Olivier put up a fierce battle, but eventually dropped the match 6-0, 6-4.
Oliver picked up her first collegiate victory in the consolation round of the gold bracket. She came out victorious against Carmen Pham of Santa Clara 6-2, 6-2.
Pola faced Kateryna Nezhura of Pacific in her first collegiate match. Like her freshman teammate, Pola battled throughout the match but Nezhura took the match 6-2, 6-3.
Pola bounced back in the consolation round of the blue bracket to secure her first victory as a Bulldog against Caroline Stevens of Nevada 7-6(2), 6-2.
"Overall it was a positive day for us, it was good for the freshman to see a level of competition that they've never seen before," said Thibodeau. "We had our ups and downs but we are just focusing on playing well."
Senior Danon Beatty started the fall season off right as she defeated Sarah Oudomivilay of USF 6-0, 6-0. Beatty went on to win her match in the round of 16 against Clarisse Baca of Sacramento State.
Rounding out the blue bracket for the Bulldogs was senior Bruna Paes. In a tough match against Chie Hayasaka of BYU, Paes was unable to pick up the victory as Hayasaka won 6-2, 6-4. Paes bounced back in the consolation round as she defeated Sasha Fisher of Pacific 6-3, 6-1.
The Bulldogs' lone doubles match of the day featured a duo of Olivier and Beatty. They were victorious in the first match of the doubles gold bracket with a win against Gratian/Heinser of USF. The victory secures Olivier/Beatty's spot in Saturday's quarterfinals.
Fresno State will be back on the court on Saturday with Gloria and Petukhova competing in the quarterfinals of the gold bracket and Olivier playing in the gold consolation bracket.
In the blue bracket, Beatty will continue play Saturday in the quarterfinals. Both Paes and Pola will be featured in the consolation bracket.
The duo of Olivier and Beatty will play in the quarterfinals of the gold doubles bracket on Saturday. Paes and Pola will see their first doubles action of the season as they will play in the quarterfinals of the blue bracket, after receiving a first-round bye on Friday.
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