COLLEGE PARK, Ga. – The Tennessee State women’s tennis team opened the fall campaign with a solid first day at the 15th annual HBCU Tennis Championships at the South Fulton Tennis Center on Thursday.
In the individual tournament format, TSU players registered five singles victories on day one.
“It was a good first day,” said TSU Head Coach Monroe Walker III following day one. “We have two women’s players in the quarterfinals. We had an impressive first day and hopefully tomorrow we can keep the momentum going.”
Seeing her first collegiate action, freshman Pragati Natraj went 2-0 on the day in B Flight singles play. Natrah took down Tuskegee’s Navilla Paul, 6-3, 6-3 in first round. Moving onto the round of 16, Natraj toppled top-seeded Brandi Nelson from Xavier by a 7-5, 6-2 final score to advance to the quarterfinals.
Fellow freshman Abhilasha Vishwanath also had a strong first outing in C Flight singles to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. Vishwanath had no trouble with Xavier’s Vashni Balleste, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round and picked up another straight-set 6-4, 6-1 victory over Hampton’s Steffy Paez in the round of 16.
After dropping her first singles match in Flight C, junior Taylor Patterson responded with an 8-0 win in her consolation round match versus Alaina Blankenship of Bluefield St.
The HBCU Championships continue tomorrow and are scheduled to conclude this weekend.
A Flight Singles
Round of 16 –Kindha Nasef (Howard) def. Ani Popiashuili (TSU), 6-2, 6-4
B Flight Singles
Round of 32 – Pragati Natraj (TSU) def. Navilla Paul (Tuskegee), 6-3, 6-3
Round of 16 – Pragati Natraj (TSU) def. Brandi Nelson (Xavier), 7-5, 6-2
Round of 16 – Nicole Hutchison (Howard) def. Phoenix Gandy (TSU), 6-4, 6-0
C Flight Singles
Round of 32 – Abhilasha Vishwanath (TSU) def. Vashni Balleste (Xavier), 6-1, 6-1
Round of 32 – Margie Funches (Howard) def. Blair Moses (TSU), 6-2, 6-1
Round of 32 – Elizabeth Clayton (FAMU) def. Taylor Patterson (TSU), 6-3, 6-3
Round of 32 – Laura Hernandez (Bluefield St.) def. Phyllicia Hemphill (TSU), 2-6, 6-0, 10-7
Round of 16 – Abhilasha Vishwanath (TSU) def. Steffy Paez (Hampton), 6-4, 6-1
Consolation Round of 16 – Taylor Patterson (TSU) def. Alaina Blankenship (Bluefield St.), 8-0
B Flight Doubles
Round of 32 – Vivas/Kateb (Savannah St.) def. Gandy/Hemphill (TSU), 8-4