Proctor, Torres, Bittner take runner-up finishes in Methodist Invitational

Proctor, Torres, Bittner take runner-up finishes in Methodist Invitational

FAYETTEVILLE, Va. -- Mia Proctor, Victoria Torres, and Stephanie Bittner earned their first pieces of intercollegiate tennis hardware in the 2012-13 season in the Methodist University Invitational.

Proctor (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) took the runner-up finish in the second flight of singles competition and Torres (Pembroke Pines, Fla./West Broward) and Bittner (Westminster, Md./Francis Scott Key) teammed for a runner-up finish at No. 3 doubles

Proctor finished 2-1 overall.  She outlasted Methodist's Hillary Petruska (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview) 6-4, 7-6 (4) and bounced Guilford College's Dominique Crespo (Sangolqui/Ecuador/William Shakespeare School) 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals.  Proctor faced Division II's University of North Carolina-Pembroke's Shelby Bickel (Cary, N.C./Apex) in the finals and fell 6-3, 6-2.

Torres also competed in the No. 2 flight and opened against Bickel, who posted a 6-2, 6-2 win.  Torres faced Guilford junior Natalie Sutton (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) and won 6-2, 7-6 (3), before falling to Petruska 0-6, 6-2, 10-7.

The Marlins were represented well in the main Championship Flight where three rookies competed, Victoria Ryherd (El Paso, Texas/Loretto Academy), Lauren Brooker (Wake Forest, N.C./Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons), and Sara Yousif (Waxhaw, N.C./Charlotte Manus Academy).  Brooker placed fourth and Yousif fifth, while Ryherd finished as runner-up in the consolation round.

Ryherd dropped a 7-5, 6-2 decision to Methodist junior Rachel Purser (Matthews, N.C.//Piedmont), a three-time USA South Athletic Conference and All-Tournament honoree.  After a first-round bye in the consolation round, Ryherd defeated Hollins University's Victori Coffee 7-5, 6-4 in the semis, but retired with an injury to Methodist senior Keli Shelton (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) in the championship match.

Yousif opened with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Shelton, but fell in the quarterfinals 2-6, 7-5, 10-6 to UNC-P junior Hannah Herlocker (Albemarle,N.C./North Stanly).  In the second round consos defeated Methodist's Isabella Graf (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley Old Tappan) 7-5, 7-5, and topped Purser 6-2, 6-0 for fifth place.

Brooker started off with a 6-1, 6-1 decision against Guilford's Allie Guy (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School), defeated UNC-P's Leigh-Anne McAfee (Wilmington, N.C./E.A. Laney) 6-3, 6-4, but fell 7-5, 7-5 to Hollins senior Karen Montoya (Delicias, Mexico), a 2012 first team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference and All-Virginia honoree.  Brooker faced Herlocker in the match for third place, but retired with an injury.

Rookie Hannah Parent (Port Tabacco, Md./Lackey) represented VWC in No. 4 flight singles and opened with a 6-2, 6-1 over Guilford's Leah Meservey (Atherton, Calif./Menlo-Atherton). She dropped a 6-0-, 6-1 decision to UNC-P's Alison Johnson (Apex, N.C./Holly Springs), and came back in the match for third place, defeating Methodist senior Reca Wilson (Wilmington, N.C./York) 6-1. 6-1.

Bittner, the Marlins' lone senior, competed in No. 3 singles for the Marlins and fell 6-1, 6-1 to UNC-P's Madeline DiNunzio (Toronto, Ontario/Taddlecreek Academy) and 7-6 (1), 7-5 to Guilford's Allison Hewitt (Loxachatchee, Fla./Seminole).

Doubles competition was highlighted by a runner-up finish by Torres and Bittner at the No. 3 flight.  They opened with an 8-6 win over Guilford'sFernanda Gonzalez (Siler City, N.C./Jordan Matthews) and Meservey and dropped an 8-5 decision to Guilford's Hewitt and Crespo in the finals.

Virginia Wesleyan's women return to competition on Saturday, Sept. 22 in the ITA Southeast Regional tournament hosted by the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg.