Coming off a Colonial Athletic Association championship in 2014-15, William and Mary showed no signs of slowing down this weekend, opening the 2015-16 campaign with a strong showing at the 23rd annual Tribe Invitational.
The College wasted no time asserting its dominance on the competition, winning seven of nine matches Friday. The performance on the doubles side was the most successful, as all three Tribe tandems took care of business. Junior Melanie Roy and senior Julia Casselbury got things going with a dominant 6-1 defeat of Old Dominion’s Olivia Large and Anne Gulsrud of Marshall. No. 46-ranked senior Leeza Nemchinov and sophomore Olivia Thaler pulled out a 7-5 comeback victory over the Thundering Herd’s Derya Turhan and Jackie Carr, while freshman Lauren Goodman and sophomore Maria Groener overcame Marshall’s Marija Bogicevic and Rachael Morales in a 7-6 (3) thriller.
Facing off against Penn in singles, Nemchinov, Roy and Groener each secured victory for the second time that day. Sophomore Cecily Wuenscher joined them in the winner’s column, taking out the Quakers’ Ojasvinee Singh 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles competition finished up Saturday, as the Tribe split eight matches against pairs from South Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth and Dartmouth. Casselbury collected two of the four doubles wins, including a 6-4 triumph with freshman Deepa Dhore over VCU’s Yana Morar and Sofia Segerfors, then combining with Nemchinov to defeat Jacqueline Crawford and Allison Chuang of Dartmouth 6-3. The College earned two more wins over the Big Green, as Thaler and Goodman took out Kristina Mathis and Julia Schroeder 6-2, followed by Groener and Wuenscher’s 7-5 victory over Sarah Bessen and Julienne Keong.
On the singles side, the Tribe won five of seven matches against players from ODU and West Virginia. Goodman and Dhore claimed the first singles victories of their William and Mary careers, as Goodman played to near perfection in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Old Dominion’s Nikol Hristova, a Second Team All-Conference USA selection last season and Dhore dispatched of the Mountaineers’ Yvon Martinez, 6-3, 6-1. Nemchinov and Roy both won in three sets, overcoming the Monarchs’ Adriana Rajkovic and Marijana Novakovic respectively, and Casselbury completed a perfect day with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Ivana Vukovic of ODU.
On Sunday, the final day of competition, the College won four out of its five singles matches against Marshall. Roy defeated Bogicevic 6-0, 6-0 to join only six other players with a record of 3-0 for the entire tournament. Groener, Dhore and Goodman each won for the second time, taking out Carr, Gulsrud and Morales, respectively. Casselbury received All-Tournament honors for her outstanding play in doubles.
The Tribe returns to action Oct. 2-4 to compete in the South Carolina Invitational.