Senior Alex Najarian and junior Kate Fahey came into the ITA All-American Tournament ranked as the number one doubles pair in the field. After a weekend of play, they didn’t meet their expectations on the court together or as singles players.
As one of the two Michigan women’s tennis players competing in the event, Fahey battled hard in both of her matches but ended up losing both.
Fahey played her first match against University of Washington’s 18th-ranked Stacey Fung. Fahey took the first set 6-4, but fell short in the next two sets 4-6, 4-6.
Fahey also saw a formidable opponent in her second match. She faced off against Winthrop College’s Lauren Proctor and faced a similar fate as she won the first set, 6-4, but dropped the next two sets, 3-6, 1-6.
“The fall is all about getting matches in and preparing for the spring when we compete as a team,” said Michigan coach Ronnie Bernstein.
Fahey has competed against some of the nation’s best players at the ITA All-American. Both Fung and Proctor are preseason All-Americans, which gave Fahey a great look at the level of talent she will level against this year.
“It was a tough weekend, but I thought we competed well,” Bernstein said. “Kate played a pair of tough three-set matches.”
Though Najarian and Fahey were granted a first-round bye, they were upset early in the tournament. They fell in the second round to Vanderbilt’s doubles duo of Rosca and Kurtz, 6-8, in a hard-fought pro-set match.
Najarian and Fahey subsequently fell into the consolation bracket, losing to Oklahoma State, 5-8, after another first-round bye.
Despite the setbacks, Bernstein believes they were necessary as well as helpful for her team to learn and progress from.
“We are looking forward to playing at home next week when we host the ITA Midwest Regional on our brand-new courts,” Bernstein said. “We have some of the best fans in the country and it’s always fun to play in front of them.”