SDSU confident at Omaha Invite

Robert Myers Sportswriter

 The SDSU men’s and women’s tennis squads kicked off their fall season with a very strong performance at the three-day Omaha Invite this past weekend.

The tournament was hosted by Creighton University. Six universities competed, including SDSU, the University of Northern Colorado, the University of North Dakota, the University of Nebraska – Kearney, and the University of Nebraska Omaha. Despite facing tough competition, the Jackrabbits more than proved that they belonged.

“I’m really excited with the talent we that have,” head coach Michael Engdahl said. “I think pound for pound, we can play against anybody in the country and anybody in the Summit League.”

Showcasing the talent and depth on the team, two men found their way to flight championships. In flight D, Lovro Curcija won on Friday night (6-3, 6-0) before winning Saturday’s contest (5-7, 7-6 (5), 10-7) to advance to Sunday’s flight D finals where he defeated the University of North Dakota’s Will Biemat (6-3, 6-1).

Gary Notkin found similar success in flight F. He won Friday’s contest (6-2, 6-2), which he followed up with another victory in Saturday’s semifinal (6-1, 6-1), and again on Sunday as he defeated the University of Northern Colorado’s Jordan Laughnan (6-1, 6-2) for the flight championship.

Also scoring victories in their flights for the Jacks men were Parker Lawley (flight A), Andrea Boglic (flight B) Mateus Moreira (flight B), Henrique Pereira (flight C), Lucas Pereira (flight D), Jonny Higham (flight E), and Luis Duque (flight G).

On the women’s side, Florencia Magni (flight A), Iasmin Rosa (flight A), Tacy Haws-Lay (flight B), Beatriz Souza (flight D), and Brooke Henry (flight E) all earned victories within their flights.

In doubles action both the men and the women were both able to achieve flight victories. In flight A, Andrea Boglic and Parker Lawley won 8-2 and 8-4 in matchups on route to the finals where they won 8-4 victory over University of Nebraska – Kearney’s Nadella and Cacace duo.

Also making noise within their flights for the Jackrabbit men were Gary Notkin and Louvro Curcija (flight B) as well as Henrique Pereira and Lucas Pereira (flight C).

On the women’s side, Tiffany Henry and Brooke Henry won 8-6 and 8-1 on route to winning the flight C final 8-0 over the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Carlson/Petsis duo.

Duos Ffion Davies and Jenny Blackburne (flight A), Magni Iasmin and Rosa Florencia (flight A), Tracy Haws-Lay and Beatriz Souza (flight B), also competed hard to achieve victories within their flights.

Even after such a strong performance, Engdahl, like every other coach can see ways his team can improve as the season progresses, but rather than focusing on mechanical details, his focus is on mental aspects. He sees a young team that needs to gain confidence in itself and what it can become.

“There are a couple things that we can iron out on the practice court as we go forward,” Engdahl said. “We’re still trying to prove ourselves. We gained a lot of confidence in some tournaments last spring, and we can definitely build on that.” 

The Jackrabbits will return to action on Hobo Day weekend for the Jackrabbit Invite, which will be hosted by SDSU Oct. 4-5.