Falcons claim fourth flight singles title

The BG women’s tennis team had two of its players in the singles final at Northwestern University’s Wildcat Invitational this past weekend.

“I was very pleased with everyone – we competed hard and we were right there with the tough competition,” said coach Penny Dean. “It was a long but productive three days.”

Sophomore Stefanie Menoff defeated freshman Katia Babina (6-0, 6-4) in the fourth flight championship match on Sunday to finish her tournament at a perfect 4-0.

“You want both of them to win,” Dean said. “You really can’t coach them or don’t feel like you can since they’re playing each other. But on the other hand, I was very proud of both of them. They both had to play such competitive, hard matches to get to the finals.”

For Menoff, the final match against her teammate was an interesting situation.

“It was strange playing Katia, but it was exciting because no matter which way it went BG was going to win a title,” Menoff said.

Both players advanced after strong performances in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.

Babina topped UIC’s Christina Oum (6-0, 7-5) in the quarterfinals and bested Indiana State’s Maria Caujolle (6-3, 3-6, 6-3) in her semifinals match.

Menoff beat two Big Ten Conference opponents to advance to the championship round. She beat Wisconsin’s Erin Jobe in straight sets in the quarterfinals and defeated MSU’s Marianne Eelens (6-3, 6-0) in the semifinals.

Menoff remained undefeated in singles matches with her four victories this weekend.

“I haven’t really thought about [being undefeated], but now that I think about it, it’s pretty cool to be undefeated,” Menoff said.

For Menoff, this was her second singles title of the season. She won the sixth flight of the BGSU Invitational in September after losing only three games in her qualifying matches. She beat Xavier University’s Annie Diedalis (6-3, 6-2) in the championship.

Menoff and Samantha Kintzel also won the third flight doubles title 8-6 over Cleveland State University’s duo of Vogelgesang/Muntean.

In doubles play, BG had several tandems play well but came up short of a championship appearance. The team of sophomore Kelsey Jakupcin and junior Jenna Nussbaum posted a 3-2 weekend record, while the duos of Kintzel and Menoff and junior Andrea Volle and senior Erica Wolfe each went 2-1.

Several other Falcons also played well in consolation matches this weekend. The team finished 10-6 in singles and 5-3 in doubles.

The Wildcat Invitational was the last fall tournament for BG team, but several players will wrap their season’s up at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in Lansing Michigan from October 19-26.

“I’m hoping we can build on what we just did and make practices even a bit tougher, more energized, and focused,” Dean said.

The Falcons are sending five players to the ITA championship. In the singles matches Ashley Jakupcin and Samantha Kintzel will represent BG. The Falcons are sending two tandems for doubles as well. Nussbaum and Kelsey Jakupcin, and Kintzel and Menoff make up the two teams.

Kintzel expects to have a good showing at the tournament based on her season thus far.

“From the beginning, I started off a little bit slower than I wanted to, but each week I progressively get better,” Kintzel said.