September 23, 2012

Knoop/Ekanayake Win Doubles Title; Knoop Second in Singles

San Antonio - Trinity's Mackenzie Knoop and Thavindra Ekanayake won the ITA Regional Doubles Championship on Sunday afternoon, while Knoop was the runner-up in the singles tournament.

Knoop won her second consecutive regional doubles title, taking the crown with teammate Stephanie Williamson last fall.  Knoop also made it to the singles finals for the second straight season, after winning last year's event. 

In this year's tournament, Knoop and Ekanayake were seeded #1 prior to Friday's opening day, receiving a first-round bye.  The Tiger duo won 8-4 the first day, then took an 8-2 win to reach the semifinals.  In the semifinals, Knoop/Ekanayake defeated #4 seed Blacketer/Blundell of UT-Tyler 8-1. 

Sunday's final was much more competitive, as Knoop and Ekanayake needed a rally to take the win over #4 seeds Amy Frisenhahn and Rachel Cole.  Trinity lost the opening set 4-6, then bounced back with a 7-5 win in set number two.  The Tigers used their momentum to take a 10-3 win in the deciding set, advancing to the ITA National Small College Championships. 

In singles, top-seeded Knoop defeated #5 seed Sofia Vega 7-6, 6-2 in the semifinals earlier today, then faced off against #2 seed Brittni Fausett.  Fausett took the 6-3, 6-3 win to win the singles title.

The ITA Small College Championships will be held October 11-14 in Mobile, Alabama.  Trinity has won the ITA Doubles National Championship three times, with the most recent coming in 2003.  Lola Taylor and Lizzie Yasser won the title in 1998, while Yasser and Amanda Browne took home the 1999 crown.  Heather McGowan and Hayley Dittus were Trinity's last winners (2003). 

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