The Marquette women’s tennis team ended their season last year with a win over Creighton in the Big East consolation bracket after losing to Xavier in the quarterfinals. The team now comes back to preseason form and has attended three preseason events. The team features five returning players in Fleur Eggink, Lesley Foe, Isabella Franks, Courtney Hebard and 2017 all-conference honoree Paula Tormos Sanchez. Head coach Jody Bronson also welcomed three newcomers to the team in freshmen Andrea Amortegui and Natalija Popovic along with a sophomore transfer out of Kentucky in Milica Novakovic.
So far this season the Golden Eagles have played in the Gopher Invitational on the campus of Minnesota and the Wildcat Invitational on the campus of Northwestern, along with the Milwaukee Tennis Challenge. The team did incredibly well in both tournaments as it is only preseason, but the team looks to get in midseason form in the coming months of the fall semester.
All preseason tennis tournaments are round robin for the most part it is extremely hard to understand, so each doubles pair is put in a bracket with however many schools are there and they play until there is a top seed. There are many different brackets in these tournaments. It’s the same thing for singles as it is almost a survive and advance kind of deal.
At the Gopher Invitational, the doubles pair of Isabella Frank and Andrea Amortegui took third and beat the duo of Jana Lazarevic and Luana Stanciu of South Dakota 6-1. Amortegui later went on to take second in singles action. She won her first match 6-2, 6-2 followed by a three set victory (2-6, 6-2, 6-3) in the quarters. Amortegui then went on to win her semis match (6-2, 7-6 (7-4)), with the second set of parenthesis marking a tiebreaker in the second set. Isabella Franks went 2-2 in the tournament, which meant she got tenth in the bracket. Let me tell you something, preseason college tennis is the hardest thing I’ve ever researched in my life, it is so difficult to understand, but I think I got it. Anyway sorry for going on a mini rant there back to tennis. Franks dropped her first match 6-1 6-3, but came back to win next two by scores of 6-2, 2-6, 10-5 and 7-5, 6-1. She then lost 6-2, 6-1 to the one seed of her bracket. Milica Novakovic went 3-2 in the tournament. She lost her first match 6-1, 6-2, but came back strong to win her next two matches 6-3, 6-0 and 4-6, 6-2, 10-4. Novakovic later teamed up with Lesley Foe to go 5-2 in doubles play.
Срби су добри у тенису. That was Serbian for “Serbians are good at tennis,” or at least according to Google Translate it was. Head coach Jody Bronson brought in a highly touted Serbian freshman in Natalija Popovic along with transfer Serbian star Milica Novakovic. Both players played high level tennis in Europe, Novakovic even played pro for awhile. Popovic had a very successful juniors career as well as Novakovic.
In the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, Fleur Eggink went 1-1 in singles play defeating her opponent from Wisconsin (eat it, Badgers) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Popovic lost her first match, but then won the next two, one being to injury and the next 6-1, 6-2. Eggink and Popovic then teamed up to go 2-1 in doubles play defeating Butler (a Big East opponent) 8-0 and Louisiana-Monroe. After the hot start they dropped their next match to the one seeded pair from Arkansas.
This past weekend the Golden Eagles traveled to Chicago to play at the Wildcat Invitational on the campus of Northwestern. I’m gonna go ahead and rant again because these brackets were posted online but they were impossible to understand. First off, the brackets had cardinal directions on them, that has too much to do with school for a lowly Marquette freshman blogger. I write here to get away from school, not learn more. [/Cardale Jones voice] Second, there were names everywhere. One doubles pair in the northwest, one pair in the southeast and then one in a regular bracket form. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE AT ALL.
Anyway, back to tennis.
Eggink and Popovic teamed up again to play doubles and won their first match 6-1. The tandem later had to forfeit due to injury sustained by Popovic in her singles match. Just for the record, I am recording the stats on the brackets as I believe the women played more matches than what the bracket says due to it being a preseason tournament. [Editor’s note: I’m feeling pretty good about my previous decisions to only try to keep track of tennis during the Big East tournament at this point.] Novakovic teamed up with the star freshman Amortegui and went 2-1 according the bracket. The duo won their first match 7-5 before dropping the next match 6-3. They rebounded from the loss and won their next match 7-4. Isabella Franks and Lesley Foe went 1-1 in their doubles matches winning their first match 6-4. Now to singles. The singles brackets were broken up into eight different flights with each being named a certain color. Lesley Foe went 1-2 in the “green flight.” She defeated her opening opponent 6-2, 6-3 before losing in the semis and consolations. Novakovic too won her first match by the score of 6-4, 6-1, before losing in the semis 6-1, 1-6, 1-6. She later rebounded in her consolation match in the “orange flight,” winning 7-5, 6-0. Novakovic was down big in the first set of the consolation match and rallied to take the first set 7-5. Isabella Franks went 3-0 in the round robin flight of the tournament.
The Golden Eagles will stay home this weekend as they await a trip to Arizona the following weekend to take part in the Arizona Wildcat Tournament.
The Marquette women’s tennis team will be very good this year. They return a bunch of great players along with bringing in three stars. Look for them to keep succeeding in these preseason tournaments and compete for a Big East crown.