Whittle Becomes First Zag to Play at ITA All-American Championships
Sept. 30, 2017
LOS ANGELES—Gonzaga women’s tennis junior Sophie Whittle became the first Bulldog to play in the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships Saturday, falling in her pre-qualifying first round match but salvaging a consolation victory at the Riviera Tennis Club in Los Angeles.
“This tournament is a great opportunity to compete with the best players in college tennis,” said Gonzaga assistant head coach Natalie Pluskota. “It’s a great step for our program, and Sophie is an amazing representation of hard work and what our program is all about.”
Whittle opened the prestigious tournament by facing Rice’s Wendy Zhang in Saturday afternoon’s first round. Zhang beat the nationally-ranked Zag in two sets to advance in the bracket, but Whittle managed a 6-1, 6-3 win against Elpida Malamou of Western Kentucky in a consolation match.
Whittle entered the weekend ranked No. 89 in the ITA’s Preseason singles poll. That’s the highest ranking by a Bulldog in program history.
After the first-round loss, Whittle’s time at the ITA All-American Championships is over. She will next take the court at the ITA Northwest Regional along with the rest of the Gonzaga women’s tennis team. That regional championship begins Thursday, Oct. 19, at Palo Alto, Calif., and will run through Oct. 23.
2017 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships
Pre-Qualifying Singles – First Round
Wendy Zhang (Rice) def. Sophie Whittle (Gonzaga) 6-2, 6-2
Pre-Qualifying Singles – Consolation
Sophie Whittle (Gonzaga) def. Elpida Malamou (Western Kentucky) 6-1, 6-3
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