Releases

For Immediate Release: September 19, 2004
Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

Binghamton women's tennis crowns two champions at Eastern Championship

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Binghamton women's tennis team made its presence felt at the three-day Eastern Intercollegiate Championship, crowning two individual singles champions on Sunday. The 20-team event, hosted by Army, is the largest individual tournament in the country behind only the NCAA Championships and the ITA Regional Championships with the top teams from across the Northeast represented.

On Sunday, sophomores Jelena Koprivica (Belgrade, Serbia) and Lya Kushnirovich (Brooklyn, N.Y.) - both unseeded in the draw - captured the "B" and "C" singles flights respectively. In her final, Koprivica trailed 5-2 in the opening set before steamrolling to a 7-5, 6-1 win over Jessica Loose of Long Island University. One day earlier, she dispatched No. 2 seed Catalina Isaza of Seton Hall, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinals.

Kushnirovich had an even easier time in her title match, dropping just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over No. 4 seed Ebru Burduroglu of Seton Hall. She went 5-0 at the tournament.

"Both Jelena and Lya played excellent tennis throughout the tournament," head coach Mike Stevens said. "In the final, Lya played probably the smartest match I've ever seen her play. She was confident throughout, and never was in any trouble. 'JJ' was able to come back from 5-2 down and played very well once she settle down."

Sophomore Zeynep Altinay (Antalya, Turney) won twice in the "A" singles flight before falling 6-0, 3-6, (10-6) to top-seeded Lauren Leo of St. John's in Saturday's quarterfinals.

"Zeynep had a good tournament," Stevens said. "Unfortunately she hurt her wrist in the quarterfinals, but she still took the top seed and a very strong player in the region to a third-set tiebreak. The only difference was a couple of points."

Binghamton's fourth player to advance to the quarterfinals was freshman Alyssa Freeman (Atlantic Beach, N.Y.), who lost 6-1, 6-3, to top-seeded Lorell Zamot of Seton Hall after opening the tournament with two wins.

In doubles, the tandem of freshman Jennifer Naegeli (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) and sophomore Vera Popova (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored an 8-3 win over a team from Fairfield before losing 8-4 against a duo from St. John's in the consolation final.

"Overall, our entire team played very well," Stevens said. "We were competitive in all our matches, and it was another step forward for us this year, as far as being where we want to be come April."

Binghamton is off for three weeks before hosting the BU Invitational on October 9-10.

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