Midland, Texas - The Nebraska women's tennis team rounded out their time at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational on Saturday. A couple of Husker victories showed great player growth and potential but the scarlet and cream dropped from the competition on some tough losses.
In her main draw third round match, freshman Mary Hanna narrowly missed the opportunity to advance getting edged out 5-7, 5-7 by the No. 2 seed, No. 21-ranked Rice's Natalie Beazant, the event's defending women's singles champion.
Freshman Brittany Brewster scraped past Kansas' Paulina Los 6-3, 7-6 (3) in her consolation second round match but then was marginally outpaced 2-6, 7-5, (5-10) by Penn State's Devan McCluskey in the next round.
The Huskers invite ended in doubles where Brewster and Maggy Lehmicke lost to TCU's Millie Nichols and Seda Arantekin 3-8 while fellow Nebraska duo Hanna and Maike Zeppernick were ousted by TCU's Stefanie Tan and Simona Parajova 6-8.
A couple of Nebraska players squeezed in exhibition matches that weren't part of the invite but still count for the ITA. Lehmicke toppled Penn Sate's Chelsea Utting 6-3, 6-2 and Kansas' Nastya Trubich sacked Zeppernick 6-2, 6-1.
"Overall it was a good day," Nebraska Assistant Coach German Dalmagro said. "The conditions were good and we played some good matches. Mary (Hanna) played a great match and came just short of beating a very talented, ranked player. She showed a lot of fight and resilience, and competed really well. Brittany (Brewster) beat a good, tricky player from Kansas, then came back from being down 0-5 in the second set. She just kept fighting and finding a way to turn it around. She pulled it off by playing well and fighting hard. Maggy (Lehmicke) played great and dominated a good Penn State player. She bounced back well from yesterday's lost. Maike (Zeppernick) struggled a little bit with her confidence and finding her game. She lost to a very consistent player, but she will bounce back. Doubles didn't go so well, but we competed great. We lost to two solid TCU teams. I'm pleased with today's performances. We competed well and got better as the matches went on. We still have work to do, but being only one week into practice, we are heading in the right direction. We will get back to work and try to get better with each practice. Next week will be a new challenge."
The next event scheduled for the Huskers is the Missouri Invitational in Kansas City, Mo. on Friday-Sunday, Sept. 20-22.