Staff Report Graphic

Senior Rebeka Mertena of the Tennessee women’s tennis team reigned victorious in her first match of the ITA National Fall Championship in San Diego, California, on Thursday afternoon. 

The No. 55 ranked player in the preseason ITA singles rankings, squared off versus No. 38 Thasaporn Naklo from Iowa State in a hard fought three-set affair. 

Mertena took the first set from the Cyclone 6-2, but dropped the second set 6-4 and trailed in the third and final set, 6-5. She prevailed and kept her cool to battle back and take the match in the tiebreak set and closed out Naklo with a final tally, 7-6 (2).  

Elza Tomase was the other Vol in action on Thursday, as she played her first ever match in California. She was matched up against the top-ranked newcomer in the ITA preseason poll, Sarah Hamner from South Carolina. 

Tomase battled and fought hard versus the SEC foe and took the contest to a tiebreak set, but she was unable to prevail against the Gamecock. The final tally was, 1-6, 6-4, 2-6, in favor of Hamner.

Both Lady Vols will be back in action tomorrow with Mertena matched up with the second-seed in the tournament, Daria Frayman from Princeton. The match is slated for 12 p.m. EST. Tomase will face No. 67 Kylie Collins from Texas, that bout will take place at 2:45 p.m. EST.

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