Fa Wins Singles Title in Tech Debut

Arkansas Tech newcomer Akanesi Fa breezed through four matches to win the first flight singles title in the fourth annual Tech Tennis Slam at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex last weekend.

Fa (photographed), a junior transfer from New Mexico Military Institute, won all four of her matches in straight sets, including a 6-3, 6-4 win over Marie Liwuslili of Southeastern Oklahoma State in the finals.

The tournament was structured very differently from most college tennis competitions. Typically, two teams play against each other in six singles matches and three doubles matches in what amounts to a best 5-of-9 series to determine the winning team.

The Tech Tennis Slam was purely an individual tournament with four flights for singles and two flights for doubles.

Arkansas Tech, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and the University of the Ozarks were all represented in the field.

Tech’s Maria Aleman, Brittany Turner, Jessica Velasquez, Emorie Mallow, Michelle Yu, Nina Greenway and Jessica James also fared well in singles.

Aleman reached the semifinals of first flight singles, Turner won the second flight consolation bracket, Velasquez reached the semifinals of the second flight consolation bracket, Mallow won the third flight singles, Yu won the fourth flight singles, Greenway made it to the finals of fourth flight singles and James reached the semifinals of third flight singles.

In doubles action, Fa and Aleman finished as runners-up in the first flight; Velazquez and Mallow won the first flight consolation bracket; Turner and Yu won second flight doubles; and James and Greenway reached the semifinals of second flight doubles.