LEWISBURG, Pa. – Junior Mishi Papich added her fourth victory of the weekend to win the Flight 3 singles title at the season-opening Bucknell Fall Invite on Sunday at the Varsity Courts. The Bison added a doubles title at the event by junior Danielle Gannon and sophomore Jill Auteri.
Papich finished first in singles at a tournament for the first time during her career at Bucknell, going 4-0 over three days. Her final match was a nailbiter as she outlasted Howard’s Nicole Hutchison in three sets 4-6, 7-5, (10-7).
“I thought this was one of Mishi's best performances of her career,” Bucknell head coach Rebecca Helt said. “It's like she took everything we've been working on for the past two years and it all came together for her this week. I commend her on her great preparation, mental toughness and solid execution this weekend.”
Auteri and Gannon’s first-place finish came in Flight 2 doubles, where they went 3-0 on the weekend. They won all three matches by at least three games, including a 6-3 victory over Lafayette’s Alexa Cooke and Katie Hill in the championship match.
Auteri and Gannon have had success as a doubles team over the past two seasons. They are now 8-3 playing together, including a 7-2 mark in tournaments.
“Danielle and Jill had a very slow start in their doubles final going down 0-3 in a matter of minutes, but I was proud of the way they stayed positive and focused and one-by-one they put together some solid points to win six straight games,” Helt said.
Freshman Rachel Carroll played well in her first collegiate competition, going 3-1 on her way to a runner-up finish in Flight 3 singles.
“It was overall a pretty good weekend,” Helt said. “Everyone put forth a great effort and a great attitude. With a big opening weekend like this, we're able to see just where everyone is and what we need to focus on for the tournament season. I thought our freshmen stepped up and did a really nice job. They won several solid matches. Hopefully, we put the first-match jitters behind us and look for an even better weekend next week.”
Bucknell is back on its home courts when it hosts the Bison Invite on Sept. 15-17.