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Forester tennis opens up season at Marian Doubles Tourney

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Forester men’s and women’s tennis teams took partial rosters  to the Marian University Doubles Tournament on Saturday at Riverside Park in Indianapolis to kick off the 2015-16 season.

On the women’s side, HU competed in three of the four flights with juniors Celine Rongos and Morgan Bemisderfer teaming up to finish third in flight A with a 2-1 record. The pair won by default in the opening round against Brittany Barger and Rebecca Faber (Saint Francis) before dropping an 8-3 decision to Marian’s number one duo of Audrey Rang and Elise Betscher. The HU team bounced back to win the third-place match, 8-2, against Alex Griebling and Anna Potter (Marian) to claim the consolation title.

In flight B, junior Kerrie Ecker and sophomore Constanze Golz made it to the third-place match before losing in a tiebreaker 9-8 (8-3) to USF’s Grace Heise and Shelby Richardson for a fourth place finish. The duo opened up the day with an 8-4 victory over Claudia Beczarski and Emily Zalewski (Roosevelt) before falling to Marian’s Colleen Yarger and Hannah Elliott, 8-6, to set up their final match.

Battling injury, the Huntington combo of sophomores Amanda Brothers and Erin Van Kampen dropped its first two matches before withdrawing from the seventh-place match. They lost in the opening round match, 8-4, to Grace’s Jayna Huber and Julia Marsh and then suffered a shutout, 8-0, to Marian’s Kristen Layman and Paige Swan.

“The Marian Doubles Tournament is an excellent way for my players and I to judge where we are in our preseason training,” said head coach Roger Ferguson. “A lot of very competitive matches in a single day tell us a lot about our conditioning and our team play.

“Rongos and Bemisderfer played very well. Ecker and Golz have not been playing together much this preseason but still made it through to the third-place match. The team of Brothers and Van Kampen were slowed by an injury but played as long as they could.”

The Foresters’ first dual match is Wednesday at Klopfenstein Courts against Grace at 4:00 p.m.

For the men, Joseph Straznicky and Volodymyr Kohut were the only two Foresters to make the trip to Indy. Their time was well spent as they finished third in flight B by going 2-1 on the day. The pair blanked Taylor’s Jonathan Forte and Derek Walker, 8-0, before suffering an 8-3 loss to Marian’s T. Grant Cunningham and Taylor Kinney in the semis. HU quickly regrouped to cruise past Grace’s Caleb Yoder and Ricardo Bedon, 8-1, in the consolation title match.

Next up for the Huntington men is a dual match at Indiana Tech on Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 234 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.