Eastern Florida State College women's tennis player Dugleisy Linarez could only smile after a long day of tennis Saturday at the Oracle ITA Regional Championships at Titan Tennis Center.
The sophomore made it to the semifinals in both singles and doubles but it wasn't easy for the Venezuela native. In the first set of the quarterfinals, Linarez twisted her ankle and played on it the rest of the day.
Linarez would go on to lose that first set to St. Petersburg's Satomi Momose 5-7 but bounced back to force a third set with a 6-3 win in the second set. Linarez continued her strong play in the third set, winning four straight games after being tied 2-2 to advance with the 6-2 win in a match that lasted well over two and a half hours.
After an hour break, Linarez was back on the court in the semifinals against Hillsborough Community College's Hana Kvapilova. Like the quarterfinals, Linarez lost the first set 6-3 but bounced back once again, winning the second set 6-3 before losing the third set 6-0.
"Dugleisy showed that she is a top player, all of the coaches said she showed a lot of guts today. She did a great job," Eastern Florida State College women's tennis coach Bobby Cashman said.
After another hour break, Linarez was once again on the court in the doubles semifinal with teammate Sarah Manseri. The duo came out strong and held a 4-2 lead but the Hillsborough team of Ciere Mullins and Kvapilova came back and posted the 8-5 win to advance to the finals on Sunday morning.
"I think the team did a nice job, this is a process and I think they played well at certain times but as we grow and develop, they will be fine," Cashman said. "I am a little disappointed that we don't have anyone in the final honestly because I believe we have the players to do so. But I am proud of them, we just need more matches."
Kvalipova will face State College of Florida-Manatee's Chelsea Samways in the singles final on Sunday morning at Titan Tennis Center. Then Kvapilova and Mullins will play teammates Olga Donchu and Shaylee Syme in the doubles championship. The champions in singles and doubles will compete in the ITA National Fall Championships in California.
The women's tennis team will head to Rollins College to compete in the C.L. Varner Memorial Invitational Oct. 6-8.