Spartanburg, S.C. - A trio of Runnin' Bulldogs, Valeriia Popko, Rokia Sacko, and Catherine White, won their respective singles draws and finished a three-day weekend at the Wofford Terrier Invite with 3-0 singles records.
In the White Singles draw, Popko (St. Petersburg, Russia) started the weekend with a resilient 7-6, 7-6 win on Friday. Popko defeated Wofford's Catherine Martin on day one, earning a Saturday tilt with Asheville's Emily McNall.
Popko battled once again, coming out on top 7-5, 2-6, 10-7 against McNall to earn a shot at the singles draw crown on Sunday versus Wofford's Mareli Sanchez. Popko controlled play effectively to earn a 6-2, 6-4 win and finish the weekend 3-0 in singles play.
Another GWU sophomore, Rokia Sacko (Montreal, Canada), kicked off the tournament with a win, overcoming a one-set deficit to defeat Asheville's Lauren Brooker 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 on day one of the SoCon Singles draw.
On Saturday, Sacko cruised, dispatching Georgia Southern's Caitlin Kitchen 6-3, 6-0 to earn a berth in Sunday's draw championship match. Sacko knocked off Wofford's Taylor Carlson 6-2, 6-3 to emerge as the champ of her singles draw.
In the Gray Singles draw, freshman Catherine White (Rock Hill, S.C.) went 3-0, winning each of her singles contests in straight sets. The Runnin' Bulldog rookie opened the weekend with a win, cruising past Wofford's Emily Erickson by a 6-1, 6-2 margin.
White won on Saturday in her duel with Mercer's Haley Powell, winning 6-4, 6-3 to set up Sunday's match against Georgia Southern's McKinsey Fiveash. White finished the weekend emphatically, cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 win Sunday.
Gardner-Webb added to its impressive weekend with a Gray Doubles draw crown from the combination of White and Mary Walker Mixon. The freshmen pairing teamed up to win 8-2 and 8-4 on Saturday over Franklin/Bertani (Mercer) and Brooker/Hall (Asheville), respectively, before taking an 8-3 match against Wofford's Erickson/Carlson pairing Sunday morning.
GWU scored two wins in the Gold Doubles draw from the combination of Yasmin Doost and Ronia Hutterli. The pair dropped a tough 8-7 decision to Asheville's Hamel/Rivero early Saturday morning before defeating Presbyterian's Ferrari/Gardiner pairing 8-4 later on Saturday.
Doost and Hutterli teamed up to add another 8-4 win, this one over Kissell/Maguire of Western Carolina, on Sunday.
In the Gold Singles draw, Doost (Bray, Maidenhead, England) won her opening match of the tournament in singles play. The sophomore scored a 6-2, 6-4 triumph against Presbyterian's Caroline Ferrari on Friday.
On Saturday, Doost dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision versus Georgia Southern's Paola Garrida, but bounced back with to defeat Lucie Payrat of Mercer 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to finish the weekend with a 2-1 singles mark.
In the Terrier Singles draw, senior Jenny Lunde (Oslo, Norway) advanced Friday on a bye, setting up a matchup with UNC Asheville's Ericka Rivero on Saturday morning.
Rivero held off a late charge from Lunde to win 6-1, 3-6, 10-8. On Sunday, Lunde jumped to an early lead against Presbyterian's Courtney Gardiner, but fell in another dramatic conclusion by a 1-6, 6-2, 10-6 margin.
Hutterli got off to a fast start on Friday in the Black Singles draw, toughing out a 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 win against Asheville's Amryn Soldier to earn a Saturday duel with Mercer's Danielle Jones.
Jones scored a 6-3, 6-1 triumph on Saturday, as Hutterli finished the weekend with an even 1-1 mark in singles play.
Freshman Teodora Stanciu fell in her first singles match of the weekend, dropping 6-2, 6-3 decision versus Western Carolina's Sara Ruiz on Friday in the Wofford Singles draw. Stanciu went on to fall against Asheville's Christine Boissevain, who scored a 6-4, 6-0 win on Saturday.
Mixon (Atlanta, Ga.) dropped her opening match in the College Singles draw, battling back to win the second set before dropping the tiebreak in a 3-6, 6-2, 10-3 opening day decision.
Mixon would bounce back to finish with a 2-1 singles record, winning 6-2, 6-1 against Asheville's Caroline Sherrer on Saturday before scoring a 6-3, 6-2 win over Western Carolina's Katie Roslonowski on Sunday.
In the Black Doubles draw, Lunde and Stanciu teamed up for a 2-1 record, including an 8-5 win over Georgia Southern's Smith/Fiveash pairing on Sunday morning as well as an 8-6 win over Western Carolina's Kissell/Ruiz duo on Saturday.
In the White Doubles draw, Popko and Sacko went 2-1, advancing on a bye in the first round while scoring 8-3 wins over Martin/Sanchez of Winthrop on Saturday and Powell/Klyachkine of Mercer to close doubles play on Sunday.
In Spartanburg, S.C. this weekend, Gardner-Webb concluded its Fall play in emphatic fashion. GWU women's tennis is scheduled to open its Spring slate of matches at Erskine on February 3rd.