Dayton, Ohio – Senior Shannon Newnes (Romford, London) and sophomore Luisa Echeverry (Cali, Columbia) shared the Flight 4 singles championship to highlight the Akron women's tennis team's performance at the Wright State Invitational this weekend.
On day one in Flight 4 singles, Newnes beat Dayton's Mandy Marchant 6-3, 6-0 while Echeverry took down Mariella Pessina of IUPUI, 6-4 6-1. Carla Flores (Coahuila, Mexico) claimed a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Hannah Rickard of Murray State in Flight 5 singles while junior Waverly Wituski (Springboro, Ohio) captured a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Dayton's Kristina Benjamin.
"We started off struggling in doubles, and we just couldn't find a way to push past the lack of execution early," said head coach Brandon Padgett. "I requested to have our two teams put into the top two flights, and we didn't handle it as well as I would have hoped. We had exceptionally close matches with both teams, but not the end results we would have wished for. We rebounded well in singles, finishing the day with a 4-0 record."
On Saturday, Newnes defeated BGSU's Polina Radeva, 6-4, 6-1 before Echeverry notched a 6-4, 7-5 decision over Megan Horn. Wituski overpowered Emily Witt 6-2, 6-1 before falling 6-2, 6-2 in the Flight 5 singles championship to Wright State's Taylor Culbertson. Flores dropped a close 6-2, 2-6, 10-7 match to Culberston to place third in Flight 5 after toppling Witt, 5-7, 7-5, 10-6.
"This weekend showed us a lot about ourselves with the four individuals that participated," Padgett concluded. "We have some mental toughness and fatigue that we have to work through, but overall, it was a successful weekend, especially from a singles perspective, as we compiled an overall record of 8-2. Luisa and Shannon shared the No. 4 flight championship, and Waverly reached the No. 5 flight championship match, while Carla placed third in the No. 5 flight. We now turn our focus toward the Cleveland State tournament, which will present our toughest overall challenge so far this fall."
The Zips continue the fall component of the season next weekend when they head to the Cleveland State Invitational on Oct. 7-9.