ISU Women's Tennis
Women's Tennis Brings Home the Hardware at ISU Invitational
POCATELLO, Idaho- The Idaho State women's tennis team completed their annual ISU Invitational this past weekend as they hosted Boise State, Montana, Montana State, and Utah Tech for an individual draw in both singles and doubles play.
Idaho State brought home the hardware in this tournament, having players win both singles draw championships, both singles draw consolation championships, the doubles draw A consolation championship, and the doubles draw B championship.
Beginning with doubles play Idaho State had four pairs of doubles competing. In Draw A we saw the tandem of Sol and Lola O'Lideadha roll through their first two doubles matchups with an 8-4 win in round 1 vs Montana State and another 8-4 win in round 2 vs Montana, making it to the Draw A championship vs Boise State. However, the twins were unable to finish off the Draw A championship as they fell 5-8.
Also in Draw A was the duo of Hana Cho and Sydney Morris. Cho and Morris fell in their opening round match on Friday vs Utah Tech 3-8, but would come back on Saturday and Sunday with a vengeance as they downed Montana 8-5 and defeated a different Utah Tech doubles pairing in the Draw A consolation championship 7-3.
In Draw B the Bengals had the team of Asem Shoybek and Stefanya Shalakhova run through the competition, downing a Montana pair in round 1, 8-4, and following that up with an 8-3 win over a Montana State doubles team, en route to an 8-6 Draw B championship victory over Boise State.
Also in Draw B was the pairing of Olivia Mikkelson and Megan Lang-Gould. Mikkelson and Lang-Gould defeated an MSU Bobcat doubles team in the first round Friday morning 8-6, but would fall in the semi-final round to Boise State 8-6, and in the third-place match to Montana State 8-5.
In singles play the Bengals had eight players competing, four in the Orange Draw and four in the Black Draw.
At the top of the Orange Draw bracket, we saw Asem Shoybek win her first-round matchup vs Utah Tech 7-5, 6-2, and her second-round matchup vs Montana 6-4, 6-2. However, Shoybek ran into teammate Lola O'Lideadha in the semi-final round of the Orange Draw and fell 6-4, 6-4.
Sol O'Lideadha started at the bottom of the Orange Draw where she dropped her opening round match vs Utah Tech 4-6, 6-7, but would turn it around after that defeating a different Utah Tech singles opponent in a third set tiebreaker 6-4, 4-6, 10-3, and go on to win the Orange Draw consolation championship by knocking off Montana State in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.
Lola O'Lideadha started towards the middle of the bracket where she bulldozed her way to the Orange Draw championships, downing her Utah Tech matchup 6-1, 6-3, and then Montana 6-4, 6-4. In the semi-finals O'Lideadha faced off with teammate Asem Shoybek and showed no mercy taking her down in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. In the Orange Draw championship O'Lideadha squared off with another teammate, Hana Cho, but could not replicate her previous success, falling to Cho 1-6, 3-6.
The final Idaho State Bengal in the Orange Draw was Hana Cho. Cho went 4-0 en route to becoming the Orange Draw champion. Along the way Cho defeated Montana State 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, Boise State 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, Montana 4-1 (Ret.), and fellow Bengal Lola O'Lideadha in the championship 6-1, 6-3.
At the top of the Black Draw Megan Lang-Gould opened it up for Idaho State, defeating her first round Utah Tech matchup 6-2, 6-3, before falling to Boise State in the semi-final round 7-6, 3-6, and the third-place match vs teammate Stefanya Shalakhova 5-7, 6-7.
Olivia Mikkelson began her singles play with a first round loss to Boise State 4-6, 4-6, but regained her composure and kept her eyes on the prize, downing Montana in her next match 6-3, 6-4, and Montana State after that 7-5, 4-6, 10-5. In the Black Draw consolation championship Mikkelson went on to defeat her Utah Tech opponent handily 6-2, 6-4.
Next up for Idaho State in the Black Draw was Stefanya Shalakhova. Shalakhova with a convincing win over her Montana opponent 6-2, 6-2, and followed that up with another 6-2, 6-2 victory over her Montana State matchup. However, in the semi-finals she was set to square off with teammate, Sydney Morris. Shalakhova could not keep up with her teammate, falling 2-6, 2-6 in the match. Shalakhova then faced another tall task as she had to go up against another teammate in Megan Lang-Gould in the 3rd place match for the Black Draw. Shalakhova got the better of her teammate this time around, winning third place 7-5, 7-6.
Sydney Morris is the final Bengal in the Black Draw and she put on a show, going 4-0 and not dropping a set en route to becoming the Black Draw champion. Defeating Utah Tech soundly in her first match 6-1, 6-2, then her Montana matchup 6-1, 6-4. Morris then had to go through teammate Stefanya Shalakhova in the semi-finals, winning 6-2, 6-2, before downing her Boise State opponent in the championship 6-2, 6-3.
Head coach Gretchen Maloney shared her thoughts on the team's first action this year, "It was an awesome tournament! It is always good in the first tournament to play a ton of matches and get dialed in for the tough tournaments coming up. I am really proud of how the girls all competed. Some of them struggled with finding their games right away but they still figured out how to win matches even if they felt like it wasn't their preferred game style. I am loving the culture and work ethic of this team."
The Idaho State women's tennis team has two more tournaments this fall, at Air Force and at Boise State, before going down to Utah for the ITA Regional Tournament October 18th – 22nd.