UC Santa Cruz's women's tennis team kicked off their season hosting the Banana Slug Fall Invite over the past weekend.
The Banana Slugs hosted local Division III schools Mills and Cal Lutheran as well as Division II neighbors Holy Names, Fresno Pacific, Dominican and Stanislaus State.
"It was wonderful hosting such great schools here at UCSC. The NorCal teams love coming here for the great weather and beautiful surroundings," said head coach Amy Jensen. "Our regional coaches are all super collaborative, so it's fun for our teams to compete and make each other stronger."
There were three different brackets for both singles and doubles.
Freshman Sabrina Lieu, in her first bit of college action, went 3-1 in the C bracket, beating players from Mills, Cal Lutheran and Stanislaus before finishing runner-up to Claudia Iglesias of Fresno Pacific.
"I had a really great time this past weekend. It was awesome to have the opportunity to put everything we had learned during practice into play," said Lieu. "I had some jitters going into my first college tournament, but the spirit and support of the team almost immediately alleviated those nerves. It was such a fun, tennis-filled experience and I'm really looking forward to what this year holds."
In the B Bracket, newcomer Ines Pelvang made the semifinals, highlighted by a quarterfinal win over Stanislaus's Megan Hagerty.
'I was nervous going into this weekend as it was my first opportunity to be a real Banana Slug," she said. "Playing on our home courts filled me with pride and I managed to deliver some good results in both singles and doubles. The standard of the weekend was high and has motivated me to keep working hard."
"It was my first tournament with the team and I've never met such a supportive group of girls. It got me so excited for the rest of the season."
The Slugs had two pairs in the Doubles A Bracket- Ashley Isaac/ Isabelle Brown and Pelvang teaming with Kayla Manz. In the C Bracket, Lieu teamed with Therese Recidoro while Savana McDowell teamed with fellow sophomore Vivian Lee. Lee and McDowell made it to the finals, defeating a pair from CLU and Dominican.
"We had a great showing this year and I'm really proud of our team," added Jensen. "On paper, we have a young team yet this group is super prepared, professional and mature."
UCSC has one more weekend of Fall action when they travel to Eastern Washington to face Lewis & Clark State and Whitman.