Philadelphia, Pa. – Three doubles tandems and one singles player from the East Coast Conference took home championships at the Men’s and Women’s USTA/ITA East Regional Championships over the weekend.
Sara Burinato of NYIT became the first women's tennis player in school history to win the East Regional singles championship. She won four straight matches, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 17, to reach the finals on Monday where she came from behind to defeat Yuliya Plevako of Concordia 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 to capture the “A” singles title.
Burinato will travel to Mobile, Ala., for the ITA National Small College Championship on Oct. 13-16. The event will be held at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center.
"It is an amazing feeling to have won the East Regional," said Burinato. "The first match was difficult. My opponent had three match points but I just fought. I had really great support from my team and coach. I am excited to go to Nationals and represent NYIT."
After earning a No. 9 seed and a first round bye, Burinato, a freshman from Barcelona, Spain, battled through a tough match Saturday evening against Queens College's Francesca Fachin. Burinato lost the first set 6-7(5) in a tie breaker and was then down 2-5 in the second set facing match point. She fought all the way back to win 7-5 and then went 10-6 in a super tiebreaker to win the match.
From there, she topped Kristyna Nepivodova of University of D.C. 6-3, 6-0 in the third round and was victorious over third-seeded Linda Tatala-Colin of Queens College 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Burinato defeated fourth-seeded Alena Mukdaprokorn of Southern New Hampshire 6-1, 6-2.
"I knew all along that Sara had the ability to win the championship," said interim NYIT head women's tennis coach Chris Frusci. "Once she pulled of that comeback against Fanchin, she was in a zone. She was challenged by all the top players in the region and found a way to fight through it all, playing three matches a day."
A quartet of Queens College tennis student-athletes also will be packing their bags for Mobile, Ala., next month, as they won regional championships at the 2011 USTA/ITA East Regional Tennis Championships at the Arthur Ashe Center.On the women's side, second-seeded Erika Goldsmith and Linda Tatala-Colin garnered the doubles "A" bracket crown, while the men's tandem of Attila Toth and Nikolaj Wulff won the same accolades in their respective brackets.
Tatala-Colin (Sr./Laxou, France) and Goldsmith (Jr./Edison, N.J.) won all four of their doubles matches on the weekend (Sept. 17-19), including Monday’s final versus NYIT’s Sara Burinato and Gabriela Rodriguez by a 6-1, 6-2 score. In all, the Knights’ tandem lost just seven games in their four-match run.
In the men’s doubles “A” flight, it was an all-QC final, as senior Attila Toth (Budapest, Hungary) and junior Nikolaj Wulff (Munich, Germany) squared off with seniors Claudio Andrade (Sete Lagoas, Brazil) and Tyrone Ewels (Pietermaritzburg, S. Africa) on Monday for the berth to the Small College Championships. The quartet battled hard, with Toth and Wulff scoring a 6-3, 6-4 triumph and advancing to Mobile. In all, Tothand Wulff have now won 19 of their last 21 doubles matches together, dating back to last March.
The doubles duo from University of the District of Columbia,
Freshman Maxime Duijst and Junior Kristyna Nepivodova, round out
ECC ITA Regional Champions with the “B” women’s
The Firebirds duo took on Chestnut Hill's Maria Parapouras and Morgan Oechsle in the semifinals match-up. UDC came out on top and won by a score of 8-6. Next on the list was their finals match-up against Andrea Salvetova and Phoebe Cheim of Queens College. Duijst and Nepivodova earned the victory, winning by a final tally of 8-3.
Contributions to the release made by the UDC, NYIT, and Queens College Sports Information Departments.