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Berl, Lazaridou get to ITA semifinal matches

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Kenyon College sophomores Allaire Berl and Eleni Lazaridou went 4-1 in singles play over the weekend, both reaching the semifinal round in the 64-player bracket of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) NCAA Division III Central Regional Championship, which played out over three days at Washington University in St. Louis.

Berl’s journey started with a 6-2, 6-0 win against Katherine Taylor of Transylvania University. She then defeated Jenna Bell of Ohio Northern University, 6-0, 6-2, and added a 7-5, 7-5 win over Shianna Guo of University of Chicago. In the quarterfinals, Berl posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Rhada Patel from Case Western Reserve University, before she lost in a semifinal match, 6-3, 6-2, to No. 1- seeded Sylwia Mikos of Chicago.

Lazaridou’s path was similar. In the first round, she blitzed Megan Long of Anderson University 6-0, 6-0. Next was a 6-2, 6-2 win over Katalina Wang of Case Western Reserve. In the round of 16, host Washington’s Nina Moravek took Lazaridou to a third set, but the Kenyon sophomore prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. In the quarterfinal, Lazaridou cruised past Abigail Pensado of North Central College 6-1, 6-1, but then dropped her semifinal match, 6-4, 6-0, to Hannah Kassaie of Case Western Reserve. 

The only other Kenyon singles player in the main draw who notched a win was senior Eleni Dakos. She finished off Sarah Sgambati of John Carroll University 6-3, 6-3, before falling in the second round, 6-2, 6-0, to top-seeded Mikos.

In the consolation singles bracket, Shadia Amado Aguad, another Kenyon sophomore, rolled all the way to the championship match. In the main draw, Amado Aguad lost her first-round match, however, when she was placed in the consolation bracket, she won her first match, got a bye in the second round and later beat Valerie Doherty of DePauw University by a score of 6-1, 6-1. In the semifinals, Amado Aguad knocked off Maria Herrera of Franciscan University, 6-3, 6-4. That put her in the final match, which she dropped 6-4, 4-6, 11-9 to Amber Edmonds of Washington University.

Kenyon doubles teams posted nearly the same levels of success. With four teams competing within the main bracket of 64, the Owls had three teams get through the first two rounds and into the round of 16. 

The pairing of Amado Aguad and Dakos, and the pairing of Berl and Lazaridou, both got first-round byes. Amado Aguad and Dakos then won their second-round match, 8-2, against a duo from John Carroll, while Berl and Lazaridou racked up a second-round 8-3 win against opponents from Wittenberg University.

Meanwhile, Kenyon’s team of Ana Brand and Natalie Connelly registered an 8-5 first-round win over a pairing from Franciscan. That was followed, in the next round, by another 8-5 win, this time against a tandem from Hope College.

Once into the round of 16, the three Kenyon teams hit the end of the road. Amado Aguad and Dakos lost 8-3 to opponents from host Washington, while Berl and Lazaridou dropped a tight 8-7 (7-5) match, also to opponents from Washington. Finally, Brand and Connelly fell, 8-6, to a team from Case Western Reserve.

The results signaled the end of the fall season for the Owls. Their next competition will be a January 27 scrimmage against University of Northwestern Ohio and then a tough spring-schedule opening match against No. 2-ranked Chicago at a neutral site in Indianapolis.

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