The women’s tennis team is off to an exceptional start this season as five of their top players advanced to play in the main draw of the 2003 ITA Western Regional Championships.

Senior Jennifer Kuhle, sophomore Amy Vyhnis, sophomore Marielle Gruenig, and sophomore Mio Fukushima all qualified to advance into the main draw of the singles tournament after winning qualifying round matches at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego last Thursday. The four Gauchos join sophomore Andrea Pintar who was already eligible to compete in the main draw.

Kuhle, Vyhnis, and Fukushima all had a bye in their first round, but won their second round matches to press forward in the competition. Kuhle defeated Kimberly Curtis of Hawaii 6-4, 6-4, but lost in the third round to Carla Arguelles of LMU 6-3, 6-1. Vyhnis beat Tracey Takeshita of Cal State Northridge 6-2, 6-1. Advancing into the third round, she was defeated in a hard-hitting match against Olga Yepremian of CSUN 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4.

Fukushima effortlessly defeated Justine Boutet of Hawaii 6-1, 6-2, advancing into the next round, but was defeated by Katalina Romero of SDSU 6-3, 6-0. Gruenig defeated Amber Ray of UCLA 6-0, 6-1 in the first round of the tournament, and Alanah Carroll of Long Beach State in a triumphant match 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 in the second round of the qualifying. But Diane Hollands from Arizona defeated Katalina 6-0, 6-2 in the third round. Sophomore Leslie Damion lost her singles match to Kate Jolson of UCLA 6-1, 6-2.

Doubles team Damion and Pintar lost to opposing team Dita Hauerlandova and Aleysa Vidov of SDSU 8-4 in the first round of the main draw. Fukushima and senior Chelsea Dillon were also defeated in the first round by CSUN 8-5.

With a vast amount of enthusiasm and esteem, the Gauchos are enthusiastic as they prepare for their next momentous pre-season competition, the Cal Poly Tournament, which takes place in San Luis Obispo, California on Nov. 7-9.