Shah reaches ITA Mountain Region quarterfinals

29 Nov 2021 | 11:13 | Tennis

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Boise State women’s tennis capped a solid outing at the 2021 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Mountain Region Championships with freshman Bhakti Shah advancing to the singles flight quarterfinals. Overall, Boise State went 9-6 in singles with five of the six Broncos advancing at least one round and three making it to the round of 16 of their respective flights.

“Regionals is a great measuring stick as it’s such a big event with 23 schools and a lot of strong players,” said head coach Beck Roghaar. “We definitely proved that we continue to be one of the top teams in this region and I know we are making strides towards our ultimate goals in this event against this competition. We had some very solid results in singles advancing five of six players through the first day and having Joana (Baptista) and Pauline (Ernstberger) in the round of 16 in the top flight and Bhakti making the quarters of her flight. No question we are definitely leaving with our minds set on exactly what we want to accomplish before the spring season starts as a group, so that we can achieve our goals. We’re within striking distance so we are excited to do the work to leave no doubt.”

Shah led the six Broncos who were invited to compete at the regional in Las Vegas, Nev., by winning her first three contests before falling in a hard fought three-set affair in the quarterfinals of her flight.

“We had a quality week here in Vegas. I felt like I did some really good Bronco things,” said Shah. “I was able to come back and win some matches after being down, and close out some tough matches when I needed to. I feel like I’m getting better each tournament I play and gaining the experience I need to be ready for the spring season. As a team, we’re getting stronger every day and our coaches are leading us in a great direction working on the right things to perform at our best when we need it.”

“Bhakti has continued to show a lot of growth from event to event and has quietly amassed an impressive record for her first semester of competition,” said Roghaar. “We know she’s got a really high ceiling and is asking the right questions, working and engaging in the ways that will get her there.”

The true-freshman from Hyderabad, India, opened the tournament with a three-set victory in the round of 64. Shah rallied from one set down by winning a second-set tiebreaker, then dominated the third to defeat BYU’s Xenia de Luna 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.

Shah followed that with a pair of straight-set victories to reach the quarterfinals. In the round of 32, she rolled past Air Force’s Isabelle Flodin in commanding fashion 6-1, 6-3. The freshman then dispatched Weber State’s Sicely Ferreira with an impressive 6-2, 6-0 win in the round of 16.

Shah then faced UNLV’s Cindy Hu in the regional flight quarterfinals where she won the opening set before falling in the final two 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Joana Baptista reached the round of 16 with a pair of victories. Baptista battled through a back and forth three-set contest to defeat BYU’s Emilee Astle 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the round of 64. She then put away Colorado’s Maria Campos in straight sets 6-3, 7-5. In the round of 16, the junior took on UNLV’s Molly Helgesson, falling 6-2, 6-3.

Pauline Ernstberger was the third Bronco to advance to the round of 16. Ernstberger opened the tournament with a tough three-set win over Montana’s Olivia Oosterbaan 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. She then cruised past Wyoming’s Noesjka Brink in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. The sophomore then ran into Denver’s Anna Riedmiller in the third round where she fell 6-4, 6-0.

Holly Stewart and Nicole Discenza each went 1-1 at the tournament by winning their openers before falling in the second round. Stewart downed Colorado State’s Sarka Richterova 6-1, 6-4, while Discenza beat Dixie State’s Alex Hildreth in two sets 6-2, 6-3.

The ITA Mountain Region Championships wrapped up the Broncos’ fall season as they now look forward towards the spring’s team dual season.