Colton, Sellyn to play in singles championships

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Courtney Colton and Georgina Sellyn each won their two singles matches on Friday to advance to their respective bracket championships, which will be held Saturday.

Colton defeated Marija Milutinovic from Ole Miss 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the white draw, while Sellyn knocked off Nida Hamilton of Northwestern 6-1, 6-1 in the purple draw.

Maggie Leavell was also in action in the second round (pink draw), but fell to Nayara Moraes from Middle Tennessee State 6-4, 6-1. Leavell went up 3-0 in the first set, but couldn’t seem to get back into a rhythm as Moraes picked up the win.

Frances Altick and Megan Gornet lost their first round matches, so they were sent to the consolation bracket of their respective draws. Altick played great in round two as she defeated Northwestern’s Belinda Niu 6-1, 6-2. Gornet was faced with the tough challenge of playing Georgia Tech’s Natasha Prokhenvska, with Gornet coming up short 6-1, 6-1.

“For the first day of the tournament, I thought it was a really good day for us,” said assistant coach Aleke Tsoubanos. “I think we competed really hard and a couple of the girls will have an opportunity to win the finals of their flights.”

Vanderbilt started the day on a solid note with two wins in doubles play. Courtney Colton and Maggie Leavell defeated Jessica Northcutt and Adri Lochner from Samford, 8-5.

Colton and Leavell lost the first game as they experienced some jitters, with it being their first collegiate action, but quickly rebounded as the duo won the next four games to take a 4-1 lead halfway through. However, the Samford duo would not go down without a fight as they reeled off three-straight games to tie the match at 5-5.

From there, Colton and Leavell made quick work to take the match 8-5 and recording the first win of the weekend for the Commodores.

The other doubles pair of Frances Altick and Georgina Sellyn also won their first doubles match of the tournament and of their career by defeating Caitlin McGraw and Jessica Stiles from Kentucky, 8-5.

The Commodores then began singles play and Leavell was once again right in the thick of things. The Memphis, Tenn., native won the first singles match of her collegiate career with a win over Mississippi State’s Sarai Flores 6-4, 7-6(6).

Colton and Sellyn each rolled through their first round singles matches as well. Colton defeated Georgiana Patrasc from Mississippi State in two sets 6-1, 6-1. Sellyn needed little time to beat Lauren Caballero of Samford 6-2, 6-1.

Altick and Gornet each suffered tough defeats in the first round. Altick fell to Clemson’s Beatrice Gumuyla 6-3, 6-3. Gornet lost in one of the longer first round matches of the morning, 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-4, to Flavia Nagayama from Middle Tennessee State. Gornet trailed 5-1 in the third set before cutting the cap to 5-4, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome Nagayama’s lead.

Overall, Tsoubanos was very pleased with the play of the four newcomers with it being their first collegiate tournament.

“I think there are definitely things we can learn from, but I thought we competed,” Tsoubanos said. “We didn’t win every match, but competed hard in every match and right now that’s what is most important.”

Play is set to begin at 9 a.m. again on Saturday with the final two rounds of doubles and final round of singles.

Doubles Results

First Round (Black Draw):
Altick/Sellyn (Vanderbilt) def. McGraw/Stiles (Kentucky) 8-5

First Round (Bronze Draw):
Colton/Leavell (Vanderbilt) def. Northcutt/Lochner (Samford) 8-5

Singles Results

First Round
Beatrice Gumuyla (Clemson) def. Frances Altick (Vanderbilt) 6-3, 6-3
Courtney Colton (Vanderbilt) def. Georgiana Patrasc (Mississippi State) 6-1, 6-1
Georgina Sellyn (Vanderbilt) def. Lauren Caballero (Samford) 6-2, 6-1
Flavia Nagayama (Middle Tennessee St.) def. Megan Gornet (Vanderbilt) 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-4
Maggie Leavell (Vanderbilt) def. Sarai Flores (Mississippi State) 6-4, 7-6(6)

Second Round
Courtney Colton (Vanderbilt) def. Marija Milutinovic (Ole Miss) 6-3, 6-1
Frances Altick (Vanderbilt) def. Belinda Niu (Northwestern) 6-1, 6-2
Georgina Sellyn (Vanderbilt) def. Nida Hamilton (Northwestern) 6-1, 6-1
Natasha Prokhenvska (Georgia Tech) def. Megan Gornet (Vanderbilt) 6-1, 6-1
Nayara Moraes (Middle Tennessee St.) def. Maggie Leavell (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-1