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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The University of Colorado women’s tennis team dynamic duo, sophomore Alex Aiello and senior Carla Manzi Tenorio, will advance to the semifinals of the Western Michigan Invitational after a strong showing Friday in the first round.

“Today was a really good day of competition,” coach Nicole Kenneally said. “We are enjoying the opportunity to play teams that we normally do not get to see during the spring season. The competition level is solid, and this is only helping with our continued development.”

Ormeno Ruiz got a taste of the ITA Experimental format in which all sets play to six with a tiebreaker at 5-5 and a super tiebreaker if they split sets. This did not affect Ormeno Ruiz, however, as she defeated senior Sophie Garre in a close 6-5 (5), 6-5 (3) battle for the first round in the Gold Bracket.

In the White Bracket, Aiello pushed the match to three sets and claimed a victory over WMU freshman Meika Ashby after falling 4-6 in the first set. She rallied to take the remaining sets 6-2 and 1-0 (12).

Manzi Tenorio fought in a tight competition with Tracy Kuhle from WMU in the Blue Bracket. In her first set, she easily advanced 6-3 before dropping the second set 5-6 (4). However, she continued to persevere and finished the match with a 1-0 (6) win in the third set, giving her the overall edge.

After extending the match to three sets in a dominating second set 6-1 victory, Ashley Tiefel fell just shy of gaining a win over Kelsey King from WMU in the Purple Bracket and fell 3-6, 6-1 and 1-0 (4).  Steur also fell to Indiana’s Katie Klyczek 6-3, 6-2 in the Brown Bracket.

The Buffs also found success in the doubles brackets. Aiello and Manzi Tenorio advance to the semifinal round after a 6-1 commanding opening in the round of 16 over Kuhle and Ashby from WMU and a 6-4 win over the Indiana pairing, Sophie Garre and Kayla Fujimoto.

Steur/Ormeno Ruiz fell in the round of 16 to Garre/Fujimoto 6-4, but went on to defeat Louisville’s Cassie Pough and Elle Stokes 6-2 to stay in contention for a spot tomorrow.

“Tomorrow, we will be playing opponents from nationally ranked teams, and that experience only makes us better,” Kenneally added.

Play will begin at 8 a.m. mountain time Saturday with two doubles followed by singles matches. All singles are four player pods and will be played in a round robin format.

Western Michigan Invitational
Singles Results – Day One
Friday, November 8

Brown Singles Bracket (First Round)
Katie Klyczek (IND) def. Julyette Steur (CU), 6-3, 6-2

Gold Singles Bracket (First Round)
Nuria Ormeno Ruiz (CU) def. Sophie Garre (IND), 6-5 (5), 6-5 (3)

White Singles Bracket (First Round)
Alex Aiello (CU) def. Meika Ashby (WMU), 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (12)

Purple Singles Bracket (First Round)
Kelsey King (WMU) def. Ashley Tiefel (CU), 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (4)

Blue Singles Bracket (First Round)
Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) def. Tracy Kuhle (WMU), 6-3, 5-6 (4), 1-0 (6)

Doubles Results
Round of 16
Aiello/Manzi Tenorio (CU) def. Kuhle/Ashby (WMU), 6-1
Garre/Fujimoto (IND) def. Steur/Ormeno Ruiz (CU), 6-4

Aiello/Manzi Tenorio (CU) def. Closs/White (ND), 6-4

Steur/Ormeno Ruiz def. Pough/Stokes (LV), 6-2