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Senior Iuliia Bryzgalova hit a cross-court backhand in a singles match versus Temple on April 14. 2021.

Credit: Amy Guo

Penn women’s tennis team blew away the competition at the Columbia Invitational in Flushing, N.Y. The event, which lasted from Friday through Sunday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, welcomed many schools, including Penn, host Columbia, Charlotte, Cornell, Wisconsin, Maryland, Long Island University, Hofstra, Saint John’s, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Syracuse, and Yale. The competition featured a double-elimination bracketed tournament in both the singles and doubles draw. 

The Quakers' wins came from a range of players on the team, from senior Iuliia Bryzgalova to freshman Sabine Rutlauka. Bryzgalova and Rutlauka were two of Penn's three title winners for singles, with freshman Saige Roshkoff being the third Quaker to win in her bracket. Bryzgalova was the champion of the “Manhattan” bracket, defeating Alina Mukhortova of Wisconsin, Akanksha Bhan of Columbia, and Jessie Gong of Yale. 

Rutlauka played impressively in her collegiate debut and won her first collegiate title in the “Brooklyn” bracket. She breezed past her competition to achieve a clean sweep. She beat both Caroline Dunleavy of Yale and Melissa Sakar of Columbia in straight sets en route to the finals. Defeating Margaux Maquet of Charlotte was her ticket to her first, which she did in straight sets. 

In doubles, Rutlauka also paired up with junior Amanda Chan to win her second award of the weekend in the A doubles against pairs from Charlotte, Syracuse, and Columbia. 

Roshkoff also showed her skill and defeated her own trio of competitors to win her “Rochester” bracket. Her first victory came against Catie Sullivan of Columbia in straight sets. She then moved on to defeat Bianca Compuesto of LIU in straight sets as well. Finally, the freshman's last win came against Michelle Xu of Columbia. After Roshkoff took the first set, the ref called for an abandoned match in the second set, and she captured the Rochester bracket.

Along with receiving numerous bracket titles, some Quakers were finalists in their brackets, including Chan and sophomore Iris Gallo. In the “Buffalo” bracket, Gallo defeated Sandra Dzhambazov of NJIT and Deniz Soyer of Hofstra, but fell to host Shivani Amineni of Columbia in straight sets. In her own “Staten Island” bracket, Chan dispatched both Jennifer Kerr of Columbia and Amira Badawi of NJIT in straight sets.

In doubles, the Red and Blue overwhelmed their competition by not only winning events, but also filling up the semifinalist and finalists spots in the standings. 

The pair of Bryzgalova and freshman Eilieen Wang were semi finalists in the A doubles after defeating the Yale duo of Mirabelle Brettkelly and Dunleavy, but falling to Julia Haynes and Sasha Wood of Columbia. 

Semifinalist awards were also given to the team of freshmen Sonia Maheshwari — who was a semifinalist in the “Buffalo” bracket — and Gavriella Smith. The underclassmen showcased their skills and perseverance in the C doubles during their stunning match against Yesica De Lucas and Jayden Nielsen of St. John’s, but were bested in a very close match against Amineni and Kerr of Columbia. 

Lastly, the pair of Gallo and Roshkoff were finalists in the D doubles, as they overcame their tough competition in Bianca Compuesto and Elinor Storkaas of LIU and Mary Brumfield and Francesca Feodorov of Miami, but they ultimately fell to Brodsky and Strugnell of Columbia.

Coming off of this strong performance in New York, the Quakers will travel back home and train in preparation for the Cissie Leary Invitational, which is set to be played Sept. 24-26.