Strong Doubles Performances Highlight ITA Championships

IOWA CITY, Iowa- In the first three days of play in the ITA Regional Championships, the women’s tennis team has made an impressive showing against the top teams in the central region.

The Hogs were strong in doubles play, with three pairs advancing to the Round of 16 and one pair upsetting the No. 2 team.


Martina Zerulo and Tatum Rice entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, defeating both Flavia Gutierrez and Jovana Antonijevic of Oral Roberts and Olivia Fain and Daisy Phillips of Northern Iowa 8-2. The pair fell 8-4 to seeded duo Vasanti Shinde and Jessica Aragon.

Jackie Carr and Shwetha Prabakar also went to the Round of 16, defeating Natalia Barbery and Sandra Melatin 8-4 before earning an 8-7(2) victory over Margot Decker and Maria Linares. Carr and Prabakar fell to the No. 5 seed Malkia Ngounoue and Sonia Smagina 8-3.

Lauren Alter and Thea Rice defeated Karen Alvarez and Caroline Gibbons of Iowa State 8-6 before earning an 8-6 upset of the No. 2 seed Marina Guinart and Catherine Gulihar. The pair then fell 8-6 to Arianna Capogrosso and Martha Matoula of Tulsa.

In singles play, junior Alter advanced to the Round of 32 in the main draw with a straight-set victory over Vera Ploner of Tulsa 6-1, 6-2. The Auckland, New Zealand native eventually fell 6-2, 6-4 to the No. 4 seed Sandra Honigova of Witchita State.

Carr and Zerulo both fell in the round of 64, with Carr defeating Melatin 6-4, 6-4 and Zerulo defeating Ivana Corley 6-4, 6-4. Both athletes fell in the tiebreaker set in the Round of 32 to seeded players.

Thea Rice advanced to the Round of 64 as well, falling in the Round of 32 to No. 111 Decker of Kansas State. Tatum Rice fell 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round of the main draw to Liza Petushlova of Drake, while Shwetha Prabakar fell 6-3, 6-1 to Cassie McKenzie of St. Louis in the singles qualifying draw.

The ITA Central Regional Championships will continue through Oct. 16.

For more information on Razorback Women’s Tennis, follow @RazorbackWTEN on Twitter.