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OU women's tennis: Sooners notch 11 victories in Fall Ranked Spotlight

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Marcelina Podlinska

Then-sophomore Marcelina Podlinska prepares to hit the ball Feb. 15.

Four Sooners wrapped up the second weekend of their fall season with 11 victories at the Fall Ranked Spotlight in North Carolina.

Junior transfer Layne Sleeth earned four wins over the weekend, including three ranked wins to reach the main draw semifinals. Sleeth opened the weekend by comfortably taking down Tennessee’s No. 55 ranked Rebeka Mertena, 6-2 in both sets. Following a close and competitive first set, Sleeth pulled away in the second set to earn the win against Ohio State’s No. 7 ranked Irina Cantos, 7-6(3) and 6-1.

On day three, Sleeth earned her third ranked win after defeating Central Florida’s No. 7 ranked Valeriya Zeleva in three sets, 6-1, 3-6 and 6-1. On Sunday morning, Sleeth secured third place in the tournament following a victory over Princeton’s Daria Frayman, winning both sets 6-3. Her one singles loss came to North Carolina’s Carson Tanguilig after a three set battle, 5-7, 6-1 and 6-7(8).

Following an appearance in the consolation finals at the Milwaukee Classic last week, freshman Emma Staker notched three more singles wins over the weekend. Staker started her weekend by beating Miami’s Diana Khodan, 6-3 in both sets.

Following a close 4-6, 5-7 loss to Ohio State’s Sydni Ratliff, Staker defeated UCF’s Nandini Sharma in two sets, 6-1 and 6-3. In her last match of the weekend, Staker defeated Southern California’s Snow Han in a tough three sets, 6-4, 3-6 and 12-10 to claim the singles compass draw. 

Senior Marcelina Podlinska opened the weekend with a singles loss to USC’s Snow in two sets, 1-6 and 5-7. That was her only singles loss of the weekend, however, as she turned around and won her next three singles matches.

Podlinska earned her first win after defeating UCF’s María Mattel in three sets, 6-0, 3-6 and 7-5. Podlinska then handily defeated Virginia’s Hibah Shaikh in two sets, 6-3 and 6-2. She finished the weekend with a hard-fought win over Miami’s Audrey Boch-Collins in three sets, 6-4, 1-6 and 10-5.

Senior Alexandra Pisareva earned her first win of the season for the Sooners, defeating USC’s Grace Piper in a competitive three sets, 3-6, 7-6 (6) and 12-10.

The duo of Sleeth and Pisareva won two of their three doubles matches over the weekend. They opened their slate with a 6-1 win over Princeton's Frayman and Brianna Shvets. The duo dropped their next match to USC’s Piper and Eryn Cayetano, 5-7. They closed doubles competition with a 6-1 win over Michigan’s Nicole Hammond and Andrea Cerdan.

Podlinska and Staker were the other doubles team representing the Sooners in North Carolina, earning a win in the tournament. The duo opened the weekend with a 6-1 loss to Ohio State’s Cantos and Ratliff.

The pair retaliated with a win over Tennessee’s Mertena and Elza Tomase. Their final contest against North Carolina State’s Jaeda Daniel and Alana Smith ended in a 6-0 loss.

The Sooners will be well-represented throughout the country next weekend, with multiple players splitting up to compete at the ITF Hilton Head 15k and the ITF Redding 25k, beginning Oct. 2.

The trio of Carmen Corley, Ivana Corley and Dana Guzman will represent the Sooners at the ITA All-American Championships in Charleston, South Carolina on Oct. 5.

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