Fall season gives Hawks big expectations for spring




Sophie Butland (IUP Athletics)
Sophie Butland (IUP Athletics)

The Indiana University of Pennsylvania women’s tennis team played in only three tournaments in the fall.

However, it was tested by perhaps some of the best Division-I and Division-II tennis teams in the country.

The team opened up its first tournament with the Bucknell Invitational Sept. 4. IUP was one of two Division-II teams invited to the tournament that mostly consisted of Division-I teams.

Head coach Larry Peterson may have underestimated Luise von Agris (sophomore, international business and general management), as she won the “C” bracket of the tournament and was the only Crimson Hawk to bring home a championship.

The Bucknell Invitational marked Claudia Menes’ (freshman, athletic training) first time suiting up for the Crimson Hawks.

She played in the “B” bracket of the tournament and advanced to the championship game but couldn’t pull off a victory.  Menes played Linda Eliasson of Concordia University in the championship and lost by a score of 6-1, 6-4 to bring her first tournament to an end.

Three Crimson Hawks were sent to compete in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Individual Championships.

Due to IUP’s 2014 postseason success, the team was allowed to send three players to compete in the singles tournament of 32.

Peterson chose von Agris, Menes and Sophie Butland (junior, exercise science), von Agris and Menes to compete in the tournament. Weather affected the tournament, as some matches were played up to only one set.

Butland played until a leg injury forced her to withdraw from the tournament during her semifinal match. She was up 2-1 against one of the top players in the region, Saioa Gomez de Segura of Mercyhurst University.

Von Agris and Menes both had their tournament appearances ended by Claire Uhle of West Chester University.

Two teams represented IUP in the doubles bracket of the tournament.  Von Agris and Menes managed a 9-7 victory in their second game after trailing 4-1. Butland and Raquel Gonzalez (junior, management) made up the other doubles team.

Both teams made it to the semifinals and were slated to play each other. However, due to injuries to Butland and Menes, both teams withdrew from the tournament.

IUP concluded the fall season by traveling to Erie to play in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Atlantic Region Championships. The whole team played in the 64-person tournament except for Butland and Menes.

The doubles team of Jarka Petercakova (junior, international business) and von Agris had the best finish in the competition since Peterson took over. They ended up losing in the championship game to No. 1-seeded Lena Dimmer and Kiefer Shaw of California University of Pennsylvania by a score of 6-0, 6-1.

In the singles part of the tournament, IUP finished 8-5.

Petercakova had a first-round bye in the tournament, and made it to the quarterfinals before losing to Cal U’s Jasi Witherspoon 6-3, 2-6, 10-7.

For now, the team will be focused on strength and conditioning in the winter before the spring season rolls around.