After five years as runner-up, IUP is looking for revenge

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IUP finished the regular season 18-3 overall and 5-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West division, which slated them as the No. 2 seed entering the postseason.

When IUP’s sixth consecutive PSAC tournament appearance and its 11th appearance in program history.

But this season, the Crimson Hawks are the only school in the Atlantic Region with six players ranked in the top 20 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

In its quarterfinals matchup Wednesday at the Maple Street Courts in Indiana, IUP defeated Mercyhurst University 5-1.

No. 9 Claudia Menes (freshman, athletic training) playing at the No. 5 spot in singles, clinched the win for the Crimson Hawks. Menes faced No. 12 Kayla Frost and won 6-0, 6-3.

Playing at the No. 2 spot, No. 8 Luise von Agris (sophomore, international business and general management) beat Adrianna Jeffress 6-1, 6-1. No. 7 Raquel Gonzalez (junior, management) won her game 6-0, 6-1.

No. 1 doubles team of von Agris and No. 3 Jarka Petercakova (junior, international business) kicked things off with an 8-6 win over Jeffress and Frost. Jeffress and Frost are ranked at No. 9 in the Atlantic region.

Menes and Gonzalez played at the No. 3 doubles spot and won 8-3 against Adina Spahalic and Carmen Mantecon Duro.

No. 11 Rachel Wood (junior, criminology) and Alanna McFail (senior, biology),  had the Crimson Hawks’ only loss on the day. They lost 8-4 at the No. 2 doubles spot.

Petercakova, Wood and No. 16 Sophie Butland (junior, exercise science) all played unfinished matches because IUP clinched the match before their games were counted.

With the win, IUP advances to play PSAC East No. 1 seed West Chester University in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Friday in Bloomsburg.

The Golden Rams finished the regular season 6-0 in conference but haven’t faced IUP.

The winner of that match advances to the championship to face the winner of Millersville University and California University of Pennsylvania at 11 a.m. Saturday in Bloomsburg.

Cal U has won nine straight PSAC titles, causing IUP to finish as runner-up five straight years dating back to 2011.

The Vulcans defeated the Crimson Hawks 7-2 April 14, and Cal U eventually secured the PSAC West’s No. 1 overall seed.