Humphrey, Kitchell earn honors

Junior+Gabriella+Gregorio+returns+a+shot+in+a+meet+from+earlier+this+year.+Although+no+team+scores+were+kept%2C+UW-W+still+notched+many+victories+at+the+ITA+Midwest+Regional+Championships.+Photo+by+Kim+Gilliland

Junior Gabriella Gregorio returns a shot in a meet from earlier this year. Although no team scores were kept, UW-W still notched many victories at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships. Photo by Kim Gilliland

Ashley Kouba, Staff Writer

By Ashley Kouba

Sept. 24, 2016

 

The women’s tennis team headed to St. Peter, Minnesota this past weekend to compete in the 3 day Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Midwest Regional Championships. The 6-1 Warhawks once again walked away on top.

The tournament was composed of a round of 128 in a bracket style competition, single elimination. The Warhawks had six girls competing in singles including: junior Alicia Beck, junior Brittany Goebel, junior Jillian Wallace, junior Alex Talyansky, sophomore Gabi Kitchell, and senior Megan Humphreys.

The Warhawks were very successful, with Beck advancing to the round of 64, Talyansky going all the way to the round of 32 and Wallace advancing to the round of 8 before being knocked out.

It was Humphreys and Kitchell who became the talk of the tournament earning All-American honors for their performances. Both girls led the singles competition all the way to the final four competitors. Kitchell fell just short and finished 3rd overall. Humphreys, the No. 1 seed, went on to win the singles tournament earning her fourth straight All-American Honors.

Humphreys and Kitchell, the No. 1 seed, also went on to win the doubles competition of the regional. Starting with a round of 64, the Warhawks had 4 doubles teams all win at least their first match. Making it all the way to the quarterfinals was the duo of Wallace and Beck, the No. 4 seed, who suffered their first loss to the No. 5 seed.

Humphreys and Kitchell will head to Surprise, Arizona on Oct. 13-16 to compete for the ITA Oracle Cup. Humphreys has finished in the top 5 at the tournament her previous three seasons including a national runner up back in 2014.

Head coach Frank Barnes continues to guide the ladies toward success while still developing the team for the future.

“We did very well as a team this weekend. We won singles and doubles which is very difficult to do with over 25 teams and 200 participants competing,” Barnes said. “Megan played 11 matches in the 3 days and Gabi played 10. That gets to be very physically and emotionally challenging.”

Several of the Warhawks competed in the Gustie Fall Invite also taking place in St. Peter and once again taking home the singles and doubles championships.

Four Warhawks competed in the singles competition. Freshman Madeline Slicker and junior Gabriella Gregorio both made it to the semifinals before suffering their first losses. Junior Kassie Alexander went on to win the singles tournament by defeating all four of her opponents.

As for doubles, only one duo for the Warhawks competed. Alexander and Gregorio took down their competition in their four matches to claim the doubles championship for UW-W.

“Top to bottom the team did very well,” said Barnes. “It was a very good experience for the girls not competing in the top 6 individuals on the team.”

Humphreys and Kitchell could not be reached for a comment by press time.

The Warhawks will compete again at home Sept. 28 against UW-Stevens Point in a WIAC match-up and will then head to UW-Oshkosh to take on the Titans in another conference match Oct. 4. The Warhawks will then host another invite the weekend of October 7 and 8 in Whitewater against 7 other teams.

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