FLUSHING, N.Y. - - It was a record-breaking weekend for the Wilmington University women's tennis program, as they competed at the 2021 ITA East Regional Championships held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
For the first time in program history, the Wildcats had three players win at least a pair of matches in the singles draw while Neus Ramos Moreno set her own record by reaching the Championship Match, finishing runner-up in the regional tournament.
All four Wildcats competing in the singles competition won one match, with Neus Ramos Moreno, Jess Purdy, and Begona Gomar reaching the Round of 16. Valentina Ivankovic won her first-round match as well. Ramos Moreno then carried that momentum all the way to the Championship Round.
Neus Ramos Moreno defeated Post's Alexandra Dereban, 6-0 and 6-0, in the opening round. On Saturday, she defeated Le Moyne's Fiona Pepper in a third set tiebreak, 6-2, 2-6, and 1-0 (12), before squaring off against Queens' Caroline Fawzy in the Round of Eight. She defeated Fawzy, 6-3 and 7-6 (3), to advance to the Semifinals on Sunday.
Already they furthest a Wildcat has gone in the tournament, Ramos Moreno (left) went on to beat Le Moyne's Isabella Barona, 6-4 and 6-4, to advance to the Championship Match. But Southern New Hampshire's top seed and the Tournament's 16th seed Natalie Kallmunzerova was able to stop Ramos Moreno's run, beating the freshman 6-4 and 6-3 in the final.
Jess Purdy was the No. 15 seed in the tournament and defeated Stonehill's Samantha Omesher, 6-2 and 7-5, in the opening round. She then slid into the Round of 16 with a 6-1 and 6-0 victory over District of Columbia's Claudia Bahamon Lopez before falling to Isabella Barona.
Begona Gomar upset the Tournament's No. 2 seed in the first round, coming from behind to take down Southern New Hampshire's Maggie Hubickova, 3-6, 6-4, and 1-0 (10). Gomar would carry that momentum into the second-round match, defeating Chestnut Hill's Annika Wie, 6-3 and 6-1, but would fall in the Round of 16 to the 11th seed from New Haven, Ivan Andric.
Valentina Ivankovic also won her first-round match, defeating Molloy's Julie Riedel, 6-2 and 6-3. But Ivankovic also fell victim to eventual tournament champion Natalie Kallmunzerova in the second round.
In the doubles draw, Neus Ramos Moreno and Larize Nel advanced to the second round with a convincing 8-1 victory over a duo from Queens College. But a tandem from Franklin Pierce was able to handle Ramos Moreno and Nel in the second round, 8-4.
The Wildcats will look to carry their success from the ITA Championships into their dual matches, as they are set to begin Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference competition next weekend. They open with Chestnut Hill on Saturday, September 25 at the Delcastle Tennis Center. First serve is set for 3:00 p.m.