Josifoska Wins Regional Singles Crown|
Oct. 16, 2011
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV sophomore Aleksandra Josifoska out-dueled teammate and defending champion Lucia Batta to give her program its second consecutive singles title at the USTA/ITA Mountain Region Championships at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on Sunday.
Josifoska, ranked 117th in the nation and seeded third here, split sets before finishing off Batta, ranked 95th and seeded second, 6-0, 0-6, 6-2. It marked UNLV's third-ever ITA regional championship as Batta won last year's in Las Vegas as a freshman and former All-American Elena Gantcheva was the co-champion of the singles draw back in 2007 in San Diego. The final that season was called off because of wild fires raging in the area.
With the victory, Josifoska earned her first trip to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, taking place this year on November 3-6, at the indoor facilities at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
"This was an incredible week of tennis for our program," said UNLV head coach Kevin Cory. "To have two players reach the final of the most significant tournament in our region is historic. It's always difficult for a player to face a teammate and good friend but Aleks handled it well today and earned a great opportunity to play on a national level next month."
Josifoska also figures to make a big jump in the rankings when they are next released in January as the native of Skopje, Macedonia, has upset three top-100 players in the last two weeks, including this tourney's top seed, 64th-ranked Anastasia Putilina of Utah, in Saturday's semifinals.
Also earning a spot in the national indoor event on Sunday was the team of Veronica Popovic and Simona Synkova of Wyoming. The third-seeded pair downed unseeded Heather Davidson and Laurence Pelchat of Montana, 8-2, earlier in the day to take the regional doubles crown.