The University of Nebraska at Omaha Men’s Tennis team started their season this weekend at the Oracle ITA Masters tournament in Malibu, California and the Drake Fall Invitational in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sophomore Razvan Grigorescu was ranked No. 63 in the preseason Oracle/ITA Division One national preseason Oracle/ITA Division One national preseason singles rankings. He was invited to the ITA Masters tournament and was seeded No. 29. In the first round, he was pitted against the No. 4 seeded player Michael Geerts from Arizona State. Grigorescu fell to Geerts in straight sets 6-1, 6-4. Next, Grigorescu came up short against Alexandr Cozbinov of UNLV in a tough three set match 6-4, 3-6, 3-6. This ended Grigorescu’s journey in Malibu; however, it will provide him with valuable experience for later this season.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the men’s tennis team was battling it out in Des Moines at the Drake Fall Invitational. The tournament took place from Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. Sophomore Nathan Reekie, playing flight one singles, started the tournament off to a hot start for the Mavericks with two clutch victories in the third set super-breakers over Barnaby Thorold (Drake) 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 and Brooks Kendall (Creighton) 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 10-4. Reekie faced Mohanad Alhouni (Gustavus) with the opportunity to make it to the finals Sunday afternoon on the line. Also in flight one, sophomore Abdoul Outtara lost his first match in a nail biter to Joshua Goodger (Tulsa) 6-4, 4-6, 4-10. However, Outtara quickly bounced back in the consolation round with a dominate victory over Zach Ekstein (Gustavus) 6-3, 6-2. Outtara played Tom Hands (Drake) on Sunday with the consolation finals on the line. The success for the Mavericks stopped there, as junior Alex Woodward lost his first-round match to Stratton Brown (Creighton) 3-6, 4-6 and his second-round match in a third set super-breaker to Patrick Whaling (Gustavus) 6-4, 6-7, 7-10. The men’s tennis team is off to a solid start to the season, but they cannot let off the gas pedal as they have the Bluejay invitational on Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 at the Koch Family Tennis Center in Omaha and the ITA Men’s All-American Championships Sept. 30 through Oct. 7 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The University of Nebraska-Omaha Women’s Tennis team continued their season this weekend at the Gopher Invite on Sept. 22 through Sept. 24 at Minneapolis, Minnesota. Junior Janelle Wilson faced a tough first round opponent and fell to Caroline Ryba (UMN) 4-6, 2-6. Wilson then bounced back in the consolation bracket to defeat Marta-Anna Tynna (SDSU) 6-0, 6-0 but inevitably fell to Tina Kreinis (UMN) 0-6, 0-6 which gave her a bout against Carmen Palumbo (UND) for 11th place on Sunday. Junior Michelle Walker was fighting an injury as she was defeated by Annabella Bonadonna (ISU) 2-6, 2-6 and Habiba Aly (USD) 3-5 before she finally retired due to her injury. The Maverick’s luck did not turn around, as freshman Natalie Lorentz fell to Rita Timakova (ISU) 2-6, 1-6 and Mbalia Bangoura (Nebraska) 2-6, 4-6. Sophomore Rylee Tucker had an up and down day, as she lost to Elly Hartnett (3-6, 2-6) before competing hard and defeating Karen Alvarez (ISU) 3-6, 6-3, 10-3 and finally, losing to Emily Rees (Nebraska) 0-6, 6-7(5). Sophomore Emily Behling was defeated by Darla Chemodanova (USD) 4-6, 6-1 and received a bye into the second round of consolation play. Sophomore Clare Crockett had a tough first round battle against Harri Proudfoot 3-6, 7-5, 3-6. She then received a bye in the consolation bracket before losing to Masha Lobanova 3-6, 4-6. The Mavs are looking to build off these early results to prepare their best tennis for later in the season. Coming up next, they will compete at the Creighton Invite Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 in Omaha.