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Pasternak leading women’s tennis
Gabby Pasternak is making the most of her senior year as a part of the Quinnipiac women’s tennis team. Last weekend, Pasternak and the Bobcats hosted the tenth annual Quinnipiac Invitational tennis tournament, and Pasternak went on to the finals of the A singles tournament before losing 6-3, 7-5 to Julija Corsunova of Fairleigh Dickinson.
“I’ve never been past the semifinal round at one of these tournaments. It’s great to start off the season well,” Pasternak said.
Army, Bucknell, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Seton Hall, Stony Brook, University of Connecticut and NEC-rival FDU round out the field in the three-day tournament. The Invitational marks only the third time the women’s tennis team has been in action this fall, but that didn’t stop coach Mike Quitko from having high expectations for the tournament.
“Ideally, we want to win each match. We don’t practice hard every day to go out there and lose. In reality, that just won’t happen, but if the girls play smart and make good decisions, we should be successful,” Quitko said.
On day one of the tournament, the Bobcats’ smart play paid off as five different singles players advanced to the second round. Pasternak and freshman Mary Wilson cruised to wins in the tournament’s Flight A, junior Amanda Petruzzi didn’t drop a game in her victory in the B Flight, and seniors Danielle Rodriguez and Amy Sarazin won in Flights C and D respectively.
Pasternak and Wilson were also victorious in their first round doubles match, as were sophomore Nicole Adams and freshman Shawna Sarson. Petruzzi and Rodriguez joined teammates Wilson and Pasternak in the second round of the Flight A doubles bracket after winning by walkover.
Day two of the event was marred by rainy weather that pushed the day’s early matches indoors to the athletic center. The athletic center’s courts are a different surface than the Quinnipiac outdoor courts and the ball can skid and speed up on the new surface. Despite this, Quitko didn’t see too much of a Bobcat advantage gained by the indoor switch.
“Of course home court advantage always helps, but we haven’t been practicing indoors that much,” Quitko said. “Maybe in the spring after winter practices, but now we’re not accustomed to the indoor courts yet.”
The Bobcats continued their winning ways on the second day as well. Wilson won her second round match and reached the semifinal round but lost her next match, making it the first setback of her college career. The freshman won the Flight 2 singles title at the Eastern Collegiate championships last week. Her weekend came to a close when she and Pasternak lost to Bucknell in doubles.
But Pasternak still remained in the singles field and breezed through to the final round for the first time in her career. Quitko was quick to praise his senior captain.
“Gabby has some of the best hands I’ve seen. That goes for any level of tennis,” Quitko said.
Pasternak acknowledged her affinity for net play, but remained modest about her game.
“I’m glad to have done so well this week, but I need to be more consistent in general. I sometimes lose my head and I need to work on that,” she said.
Quitko said he was pleased with his whole team’s overall efforts throughout the weekend. He said that each time playing, the team hopes to get closer to achieving their overall goal, which is winning the Northeast Conference and returning to the NCAA tournament.