HARRISONBURG, Va. - The freshman-senior duo of Cara Wirth (Reading, Pa./Wilson) and Katherine Bulling (Loveland, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) led James Madison women's tennis on day two of the Navy Blue & Gold Invitational as they went a combined 5-0 in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday. JMU went a combined 12-2 on day two of the three-day tournament.
Wirth and Bulling shared a victory on the day over Towson's Nani Lizana and Andrea Samlin, taking their doubles A Flight consolation match 9-8(5) for one of JMU's 12 wins.
In singles play, Wirth advanced to the championship match in the D Flight on Sunday following two solid victories. She battled back for a 1-6, 6-4, 10-8 win over Hofstra's Louise Lopez in the quarterfinals before sweeping George Washington's Isabelle Escobar 6-2, 6-3.
Bulling added her own two singles wins in the backdraw quarterfinals and semifinals of the A Flight. She took a two-set match 7-5, 6-4 over Pitt's Molly Wickman before defeating her own teammate, junior Jacqueline Palmucci (Aurora, Colo./Cherokee Trail), by a score of 6-2, 6-4. Palmucci had advanced to the consolation semifinals following a walkover of Towson's Nani Lizana.
Palmucci teamed up with fellow junior Ruxandra Andriescu (Brampton, Ontario, Canada/Turner Fenton) to take down George Washington's Christina Carpenter and Egle Jakucianate 8-4 in the semifinal round of the doubles B Flight.
Andriescu added her own pair of singles wins to the Dukes' total for the day. In the singles B Flight bracket, she knocked off Nisha Shah (Towson) 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals and Isabel Aldunate (UMBC) 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals.
Sophomore Taylor Pinchoff (Sylvan Lake, Mich./West Bloomfield) helped notch three more victories for JMU in both singles and doubles action. In singles A Flight play, she won over Towson's Ayana Dow 6-3, 6-0 and Long Island's Taysha Blessington 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the championship match on Sunday. She also took down Gabrielle Catanzariti and Kimmy Borza (Pitt) 8-3 with partner Michelle Nguyen (Springfield, Va./South County).
The Dukes will return to the courts on Sunday for the final rounds of the Navy Blue & Gold Invitational.
Singles (Day 2)
A (QF): Taylor Pinchoff def. Ayana Dow (Towson) 6-3, 6-0
A (SF): Taylor Pinchoff def. Taysha Blessington (LIU) 6-2, 6-0
A (cons. QF): Jacqueline Palmucci advances over Nani Lizana (Towson), walkover
A (cons. QF): Katherine Bulling def. Molly Wickman (Pitt) 7-5, 6-4
A (cons. SF): Katherine Bulling def. Jacqueline Palmucci 6-2, 6-4
B (QF): Ruxandra Andriescu def. Nisha Shah (Towson) 6-3, 6-4
B (SF): Ruxandra Andriescu def. Isabel Aldunate (UMBC) 6-4, 6-4
C (QF): Ariel Burke (Towson) def. Megan Douglass 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-7
D (QF): Cara Wirth def. Louise Lopez (Hofstra) 1-6, 6-4, 10-8
D (SF): Cara Wirth def. Isabelle Escobar (GW) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles (Day 02)
A (SF): Pinchoff/Nguyen def. Gabrielle Catanzariti/Kimmy Borza (Pitt), 8-3
A (cons.): Wirth/Bulling def. Nani Lizana/Andrea Samlin (Towson), 9-8(5)
B (SF): Palmucci/Andriescu def. Christina Carpenter/Egle Jakucianate (GW), 8-4