|Sanz has impressive run at ITA|
LAS VEGAS - Almudena Sanz won her first three matches in both singles and doubles to mark an impressive performance at the ITA Mountain Regional Championship for the Idaho women's tennis team in Las Vegas, Nev., which concluded Sunday.
Sanz teamed up with Victoria Lozano to beat pairings from New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming and advance to the quarterfinals of the 64-team doubles draw before falling. In singles play, she won her first three matches to reach the round of 16 in the 128-player draw. Those wins included a 6-4, 6-4 win over Utah's Elena Najera, who competed in the All-American Championships a week ago. Sanz's round of 16 loss came at the hands of UNLV's Aleksandra Josifoska, the eventual singles champion in the event.
"It was a tough tournament," Idaho coach Dan Pollock said. "All the best teams in the region had their strongest players competing. That, paired with lengthy rain delays and matches being played past 11 p.m. after a 7 a.m. warm-up time make Almu's run even more impressive."
The other two Vandals players who made the trip each lost in the first round of singles play. Lozano fell to Montana's Haley Driver, who eventually reached the round of 16, and Rita Bermudez lost to Wyoming's Veronica Popovici, an eventual quarterfinalist. Bermudez did not play doubles because her scheduled partner, Beatriz Flores, did not make the trip for health reasons.
"I wasn't sure what to expect going into this event as we have had a few health issues recently that have delayed our practice progression," Pollock said. "Taking that in to account, to have a player reach the last 16 out of 128 and a doubles pair reach the quarterfinals shows what we can achieve once we get healthy and get our practice back on schedule."
The Vandals have two tournaments remaining on their fall schedule. They will play in the University of Portland Invite Oct. 19-21, and the Houston Cougar Classic Nov. 2-4.
"I think we're only seeing about 50-60 percent of what our girls are capable of right now," Pollock said. "We'll keep working hard to make sure we're at 100 percent come spring and that we're ready to compete with anyone."
(128) R. Bermudez lost to V. Popovici (Wyo) 6-2, 6-0
(128) A. Sanz def. N. Grbac (UNM) 6-2, 6-3
(128) V. Lozano lost to H. Driver (Mon) 6-2, 6-2