Kulikov stands out in women’s tennis’ opening week

first_imgSophomore Estella Jaeger also competed in a three-set match in the first round, taking down freshman Elise Frigout of the University of Pacific 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.  The Trojans are slated to play Thursday at the ITA Oracle Masters in Malibu, Calif. “We had great results from everyone representing USC at the tournament, and it’s exciting to begin the year by taking home a title in our first event,” Swain said.  The USC women’s tennis team competed in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic this weekend to open their 2019 season, in addition to the Battle in the Bay tournament in San Francisco. The Trojans left Milwaukee with a singles title win from senior captain Angela Kulikov. The Trojans look to continue their success after a 20-8 2018 season that ended in a Round of 16 loss to South Carolina. After graduating only one senior, the program will continue to build and strengthen its roster with a blend of youth and experience.  Kulikov’s teammates also enjoyed a successful weekend in Milwaukee. Sophomore Danielle Wilson reached the semifinals of the MTC, defeating three top 16 seeds before her 6-2, 6-2 loss to Achong.  The program also features the promotion of Rachel Manasse to assistant coach, who served as a volunteer coach on the staff this past season.  With the No. 7-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to the Tennis Recruiting Network, the new class comprised of players including Carson Branstine, Eryn Cateyano and four-star Payton Saca figures to be a strength for the Trojans in 2019 and beyond.  “Angela came into the tournament prepared to compete and executed her game plan throughout the event,” Swain told USC Athletics. “It was tough to transition from indoors to outdoors throughout the weekend, but Angela handled it well and competed at an exceptionally high level.” Kulikov was seeded No. 13 in the singles draw for tournament, and her path to the championship was not easy. She defeated both the No. 3 and No. 7 seeds on the road to the final against No. 5-seeded sophomore Daevenia Achong of the University of Miami. center_img “I’m very excited to be back this season as an assistant coach,” Manasse told USC Athletics. “It’s such an amazing opportunity. This team has so much potential, and I can’t wait to be a part of their continued success.”  Milwaukee wasn’t the only destination for the women’s team this week, as several Trojans participated in the Battle of the Bay Classic in San Francisco. Senior Sydney Van Alphen defeated top-seeded sophomore Solymar Colling of the University of San Diego in three sets 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.  Both Van Alphen and Jaeger advanced to the tournament’s quarterfinal, while freshman Payton Saca gained her first collegiate experience by winning an extra match 6-2, 6-3 against freshman Alicia Yue from the University of San Francisco. Jaeger and Van Alphen were also paired in the doubles bracket and lost 8-2 to Arizona graduate student Abby Amos and junior Talya Zandberg.  Kulikov’s title earned her a wild card spot in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Newport Beach this November.  Wilson and Kulikov teamed up in the doubles bracket and reached the semifinals along with the duo of senior Constance Branstine and junior Ana Neffa, but both pairs fell short of the championship match.  Kulikov narrowly defeated Achong 7-6, (5) in a close first set tiebreak. She went on to take the second set 6-4, securing the MTC title. Head coach Alison Swain believed Kulikov was well prepared heading into her matches and that she maintained an elite degree of focus.  Editor’s note: This article published Wednesday misidentified a photo of Rianna Valdes as Angela Kulikov. The article has been updated online. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.last_img read more

Kieran Bergin focuses on football

first_imgFormer Tipperary hurler Kieran Bergin has joined the Tipperary footballers for the 2017 season.The 31-year-old cited work commitments as his reason for leaving the panel 16 days ago, ahead of their opening game of the Munster Championship.However, it has emerged that the Killenaule man trained with the footballers for the first time last night in Thurles. Photo © Tipperary GAA He previously played for the footballers in 2013, but left to pursue hurling after being approached by then manager Eamon O’Shea.Tipp FM’s Jackie Cahill says Bergin’s departure from the hurlers could be down to a lack of game time..And Jackie will have more on that story on Straight Talk tonight from 7pm on Tipp FM.last_img read more