JONESBORO, Ark. (10/25/13) – The Arkansas State women’s tennis team began play in its host tournament, the A-State Invitational, Friday at Allen Park with success in both singles and doubles play.

In singles play, Tamara Slijepcevic, Julie Gauguery, and Sofia Krsmanovic advanced to the finals of their flights.  Slijepcevic defeated Carla Suga of Murray State 7-6, 6-3 and Valerria Kashina of Southeast Missouri 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the finals of flight one.  Gauguery topped Belmont’s Abbey Mather 7-6, 6-1 before beating Murray State’s Erin Patton 6-0, 5-7, 6-3 to advance to the finals of flight three.  Krsmanovic made her way to the finals of flight five by earning a bye and then defeating Maddi Gilley of Belmont 6-2, 7-6.

“We had a successful day in singles by placing three girls in the finals and having three girls playing for third place in their flights,” A-State women’s tennis coach Marina Engelbrecht said.  “Tamara, Julie and Sofia played great singles today.  I loved their ability to fight through the ups and downs of the match and pull through with good wins.”

In other singles action, Janie Nowland was defeated by Simona Horsikyan of Central Arkansas 6-4, 6-1, but bounced back to top SEMO’s Valeriia Nagovitcina 6-3, 6-1 in the consolation bracket of flight one.  Biljana Miloshevska was awarded one victory by default but fell to Heather Robinson of Southeast Missouri 6-0, 6-3 in her only match of the day in flight two. 

In flight four, Jess Heeps-Eriksen won by a 6-3, 6-1 score over Belmont’s Jenna Krakau before falling to Verginie Tchakarova 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.  Victoria Pisani, also competing in flight four, lost to SEMO’s Annisa Waransanti 6-3, 6-3 and was then awarded a victory by default in her consolation bracket match.  Chiara Stefanov won her first match of the day over Murray State’s Suzaan Stoltz in straight sets 6-4, 6-0, but was defeated in her second match against Bianca Strueklj of Central Arkansas by a score of 6-2, 6-1.

Slijepcevic/Nowland defeated Kelsey Williams/Kristina Horsikyan of UCA 8-6 in flight one action, while Heeps-Eriksen/Pisani defeated Sandra Kancheva/Nikki Maciel of Belmont 8-7 in flight three.  Stefanov/Krsmanovic continued the A-State success in doubles with an 8-2 victory over Erica Marschall/Krakau while Miloshevska/Gauguery won their first match by default.

Day two of the A-State Invitational gets underway at 9 a.m. Saturday morning at Allen Park in Jonesboro, Ark.