HOUSTON – Sophomores Tsveta Dimitrova and Lauren Alter booked spots in the Round of 32 after picking up wins for Houston as the Cougars completed the first day of the ITA Texas Regional Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.
Houston’s doubles team of Tsveta Dimitrova and Sveva Mazzari set the tone early for Houston with a convincing win in the Round of 64. The duo rolled to an 8-0 victory over Liza Buss and Anzhelika Shapovalova to book a trip to the Round of 32, where they will meet Carrie Casey/Mila Milanovic (Sam Houston State) at 8:30 a.m., Saturday.
Ana Glumac and Lauren Alter will face Alexis Pereira and Meredith Roberts (TCU), while Laura Bernardos and Constandena Nicolaou will meet Anna Botwell and Priya Niezgoda (Rice) as they open their doubles tournaments in the Round of 32, on Saturday, after receiving first round byes.
In singles play, Alter picked up a pair of wins on the first day of action. The sophomore met Iulia Ivascu (Texas A&M) in the Round of 128 and jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a 6-0 first set win. Alter would clinch the match with a 6-2 score in the second set to move onto the Round of 64.
In the second round, Alter faced Ana Luisa Perez Lopez, where she met a tough test in the first set. The duo battled back-and-forth the entire set and played to a tie breaker at 6-6, however, it was Alter coming out on top with a 7-6 (5) win. Alter kept the momentum going into the second set, where she prevailed 6-3 to earn a spot in the Round of 32.
Alter moves on to face Alexandra Valenstein (Texas Tech) on Saturday, at Noon.
Dimitrova also picked up a Round of 32 berth after a win over Jelena Dordan (Incarnate Word). After receiving a bye as the No. 5 seed to automatically advance to the second round, Dimitrova claimed the first set 6-3, before clinching the match with a 6-2 mark in the second set.
Dimitrova advances to face Khee Yen Wee (Sam Houston State) on Saturday, at Noon.
Mazzari also claimed a singles win in the Round of 128 on Saturday in her match against Mila Milanovic (Sam Houston State). Mazzari and Milanovic were locked in a dual in the first set, with Mazzari winning a tie breaker 7-6(5). Mazzari sealed the match in the second set after returning with a 6-3 win.
Mazzari drew the tournament’s No. 1 seed in the Round of 64, when she met Bianca Turati (Texas). After dropping the first set 6-2, Mazzari rallied to even the score at one apiece after a 6-4 victory in the second. Mazzari and Turati would battle deep into the third set, but Turati prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Nicolaou picked up a win for Houston in the Round of 128 when Stevie Kennedy (TCU) was forced to retire due to illness, with Nicolaou leading the match 3-2 in the first set. In the Round of 64, Nicolaou drew Angie Shakhraichuk (Baylor) where she fell 6-2, 6-3.
Bernardos dropped a close match in her Round of 128 matchup against Lucia Natal (UT Arlington). The freshman fell in the first set 6-1, before responding with a 6-1 win of own in set two to even the match. The third set played tied late into the contest at five apiece before Natal was able to win back-to-back games to claim the match.
Bernardos will face with winner of Sarai Monarrez and Flavia Gutierrez on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., in the Consolation Round.
Glumac will also be in action in the Consolation Round when she meets Klara Mrcela (UT Arlington) at 2 p.m. Glumac dropped her Round of 128 match against Riley McQuaid (Texas A&M) 6-2, 6-3.
UP NEXT FOR HOUSTON
The Cougars return to Houston to wrap fall play with the River Oaks Hidden Dual across Nov. 3-5. The event will be hosted by the River Oaks Country Club.
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