Women's Tennis Ends Fall Season At USTA/ITA Midwest Regional

Haley Craig
Haley Craig

Oct. 20, 2012

URBANA, Ill. - The UIC women's tennis completed play at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional at the Atkins Tennis Center on Saturday, bringing its fall season to a close.  Senior Haley Craig was able to enter into the singles main draw and capture a first-round win.

On the opening day of competition, the Flames began play in the qualifying draw.  Natalia Kuvakina, Kathryn Sharples, Keti Mebuke and Jana Knoppe all faced their respective opponents, pushing to move on to the next round.  In the first round, Kuvakina defeated Cleveland State's Alex Bush (6-3, 6-3), Sharples captured a 6-2, 6-2 win over Milwaukee's Chelsea Bailey and Knoppe came out of a three-set match with Toledo's Pia Rygh (4-6, 6-3, 6-1), as Mebuke was unable to outlast IPFW's Anita Henestrosa (6-1, 6-3).

Into round two, Kuvakina went head-to-head with Notre Dame's Julie Sabacinski, but fell in a 6-3, 6-2 final.  Sharples was defeated by DePaul's Rebeca Mitrea (6-1, 6-2), with Knoppe also dropping her match to Ohio State's Kara Cecil (7-5, 6-1).  A set of consolation matches were also played, with Mebuke taking her match against Eastern Michigan's Mariya Toncheva (6-4, 6-3).

Saturday presented the opening round in the main draw where Haley Craig was faced with DePaul's Kelsey Lawson.  Craig came away with a straight-set 6-1, 6-2 win over Lawson to advance to play Northwestern's Belinda Nui, where Craig ultimately fell 6-3, 6-0.

Doubles got underway on Friday with Craig and Sharples, as well as Knoppe and Kuvakina, competing for UIC.  Craig and Sharples went up against Eastern Michigan's pairing of Daphne Friedrichs and Ankita Bhatia in the first round and finished with an 8-3 win.  The duo's stint in doubles ended after falling in an 8-1 final to Notre Dame's Sabacinski and Britney Sanders, as Knoppe and Kuvakina fell in the first round to IPFW's Henestrosa and Caterina Kiefer, 8-1.

With the conclusion of their fall schedule, the Flames break for the remainder of 2012 and return to begin the regular season in January.

Qualifier Draw - Singles

Natalia Kuvakina (UIC) def. Alex Bush (CSU) 6-3, 6-3
Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Natalia Kuvakina (UIC) 6-3, 6-2
Kathryn Sharples (UIC) def. Chelsea Bailey (UWM) 6-2, 6-2
Rebeca Mitrea (DPU) def. Kathryn Sharples (UIC) 6-1, 6-2
Anita Henestrosa (IPFW) def. Keti Mebuke (UIC) 6-1, 6-3
Jana Knoppe (UIC) def. Pia Rygh (TOL) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Jana Knoppe (UIC) 7-5, 6-1

Consolation - Singles
Keti Mebuke (UIC) def. Mariya Toncheva (EMU) 6-4, 6-3

Main Draw - Singles
Haley Craig (UIC) def. Kelsey Lawson (DPU) 6-1, 6-2
Belinda Nui (NU) def. Haley Craig (UIC) 6-3, 6-0

Main Draw - Doubles
Craig/Sharples (UIC) def. Fredrichs/Bhatia (EMU) 8-3
Sabacinski/Sanders (ND) def. Craig/Sharples 8-1
Henestrosa/Kiefer (IPFW) def. Knoppe/Kuvakina (UIC) 8-1