Oct. 15, 2017
SALT LAKE CITY – Denver’s women’s tennis team took to Salt Lake City this week to do battle in the ITA Mountain Regional, hosted by the University of Utah.
Every single Pioneer in the draw advanced to at least the second round, with senior Julia O’Loughlin and Bianca Mok lasting until the semifinals.
“It was a great week of tennis for us in Salt Lake City," said head coach Christian Thompson. "In a short amount of time, we are already building on last year. Having two players in the semis of singles and two teams in the semis of doubles demonstrates the experience and maturity that the girls gained from last year."
O’Loughlin and Mok advanced off byes, while Camille Verden-Anderson, Gracia Mboko, Hada Chang, and Arisha Ladhani earned first round victories.
Through the second round, three DU student-athletes earned victories, O’Loughlin, Chang and Mok. Taking out Vanessa Valdez from New Mexico State 6-1, 6-0 was O’Loughlin. Chang earned a 6-1, 6-3 dub over Shion Watabe from Idaho. Finally, Mok defeated Jenna Kane from Utah State 6-3, 7-5.
Both Mok and O’Loughlin advanced past rounds three and four, O’Loughlin with a 6-2, 6-3 win over BYU’s Samantha Smith and 6-1, 6-1 against Wyoming’s Magdalena Stencel. Mok got past UNLV’s Juliet Zhang and Utah’s Briana Turley with 6-2, 6-0 and 7-5, 6-2 scores respectively.
Mok and O’Loughlin would both fall in the semifinals, but not before earning quarterfinal victories. O’Loughlin earned a three-set 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) win over Air Force’s TJ Fumagalli. Meanwhile, Mok took down UNLV’s Aiwen Zhu 6-4, 6-2.
In doubles action, the teams of Mok and Verden-Anderson, Ladhani and Mboko, and O’Loughlin and Chang all advanced past the first round with a win or a bye. All three teams also made it to round three, but only Mok/Verden-Anderson and O’Loughlin/Chang advanced into the quarterfinals with respective 8-3 and 8-6 scores.
The two teams also made the semifinals with Mok/Verden-Anderson taking out rival Colorado’s Huang/Audrinopolis 8-6 and O’Loughlin/Chang beating Nevada’s Herrero/Delic 8-6. O’Loughlin and Chang advanced to the doubles final against Idaho’s Badillo/Petrei, defeating the Vandals 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday for the title.
"Winning a title at ITA Regionals is never easy," added Thompson. "It's rewarding to bring home a title to Denver”
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