MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—The Babson College women's tennis team opened the 2019-20 season with a strong day one showing at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) New England Championships at Middlebury College. Senior Emily Roeper (Belle Mead, N.J.), junior Carolina Merz (Santa Tecla, El Salvador) and first-year Ipek Akgul (Istanbul, Turkey) all recorded at least one victory on Friday for the Beavers.
Merz opened the day with a 6-0, 7-5 over Chloe Henderson of Williams, who opened the 64-player tournament as one of the top 16 seeds. In the second round she won the opening set in a tiebreaker before rolling to a 7-6 (7-1), 6-0 victory over Yuka Perea of MIT to advance to Saturday's third round.
Merz also teamed with Roeper in doubles as the duo edged Brinlea La Barge and Caitlin Neal of Middlebury 8-7 (7-1) in Friday's first round. They advance to a matchup with top-seeded Maggie Dorr and Caroline Garrido of Tufts in Saturday's second round.
Akgul made her collegiate debut on Friday splitting a pair of singles matches. She rallied from a first-set deficit to outlast Ching Ching Huang of Mount Holyoke 4-6, 7-5, 10-5 in the first round before dropping a 6-3, 6-3 decision to Diana Dehterevich of Brandeis in the round of 32.
Singles play resumes on Saturday morning with doubles action at Middlebury set for the afternoon.