The Princeton women’s tennis team competed in the 20th annual Cissie Leary Invitational this weekend (Sept. 30-Oct. 2) at the University of Pennsylvania. In November 1996, the head women’s tennis coach at Penn, Cissie Leary, passed away after a long battle with scleroderma. Leary coached the Quakers to 16 winning seasons, compiling a career record of 229-119 from 1977-96. In her final spring coaching season in 1995, her team was 16-7 overall, 6-1 in the Ivy League and progressed to the NCAA East Regional. Beginning in 1997, this tournament has been held every year to honor her memory and legacy.
Twelve teams played in the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday event held at the Hecht Tennis Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The tournament was organized into two 32-player Flight A and B singles draws, a 16-player Flight C singles draw, a 16-player Flight A doubles draw, and a 32-player Flight B doubles draw. Teams that competed in the event included host Penn, as well as Columbia, Cornell, Delaware, Drexel, Maryland, Penn State, Princeton, St. John’s, Temple, William & Mary, and Yale.
In Friday’s play, Tiger freshman Nathalie Rodilosso won both of her matches and followed up with a third win on Saturday against Columbia's Sarah Rahman 6-4, 2-6, (10-6). This level of play to set her up to compete in a semifinal Sunday match against another Lion, Adi Milstein, who was Flight B’s top seed. Milstien defeated Rodilosso's teammate, senior Sara Goodwin, in the quarterfinals Saturday. Rodilosso beat out Milstien, but lost in her in the final in a third Lion-Tiger battle against Andrea Kevakian, 6-3, 7-5, in the Flight B final. This was Nathalie’s first tournament sporting the Orange and Black and was a great showing for the future of the team.
After spending two long weekends elsewhere in the country, the Tigers get to return home next weekend for the Princeton Invitational. The Tigers will host tournament play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Lenz Tennis Center. Princeton will match up against Cornell, Penn, and Temple in both doubles and singles matches.