July 29, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Incoming freshman Lynda Xepoleas wrapped up a successful ITA Summer Circuit earlier this week by winning her final tournament and finishing with the No. 1 individual ranking in the California region.
In the first tournament of the summer in the California region from July 2-4, Xepoleas earned the No. 1 seed and a first round bye in a field of 64. She faced Kristen Eggleston of the University of New Mexico in the second round and knocked her off, 6-2, 6-3, to advance to the round of 16. There, she knocked off Jennifer Cornea, 6-3, 6-3, and earned a berth in the quarterfinals against Arizona State University's JoAnna Smith. Xepoleas and Smith battled back and forth with Smith taking the first set, 6-4. Xepoleas was able to rally in the second set and take it, 6-2, to force a super tie-break. The two battled back and forth before Xepoleas finally prevailed, 11-9, to advance to the semifinals. There, she fell to the eventual champion, Rio Kitagawa of Japan, 6-2, 6-4.
The following weekend, from July 7-10, the incoming Boilermaker was back at it for her second ITA Summer Circuit tournament. Xepoleas earned the No. 3 seed and dominated Julia Blakely in the opening round, 6-0, 6-1. In the round of 16, the Huntington Beach, Calif., native faced University of California-San Diego's Melissa Breisacher. Xepoleas again asserted her dominant play from the get-go and won, 6-0, 6-0. In the quarterfinal matchup, she faced Holly Fleming of UCLA and again won a lopsided match, 6-1, 6-1. Xepoleas fell in the semifinals to the No. 2 seed, Mary Anne Macfarlane of Alabama, 6-2, 6-4.
Xepoleas was back at it from July 16-18 at Azuza Pacific University where she earned the No. 2 overall seed and a first round bye in a field of 64. In the second round, the incoming freshman routed Megen Sandford of Cal State Fullerton, 6-2, 6-2, to advance to the round of 16 against Karen Forman of Wake Forest. There, Xepoleas was again impressive as she took down the Demon Deacon, 6-1, 6-1. In the quarterfinal matchup, the Boiler-to-be fell to Smith, whom she defeated in the first tournament, 6-4, 6-0.
The final tournament of the summer began on Saturday, July 23, and wrapped up on Monday. Xepoleas again earned the No. 2 overall seed and a first round bye. In the second round, she faced Kirsten Meehan of University of California-Santa Barbara and came out victorious with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph. Xepoleas moved on to face Beatrice Rosen in the round of 16 and again was dominant with a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Next up was Kacie Wagner of Santa Clara, but the incoming Boiler continued to roll, 6-3, 6-2.
The semifinal matchup was set against Big Ten foe Michelle Sulahian, a senior at Michigan and the tournament's No. 6 seed. The incoming freshman wasn't rattled despite Sulahian's experience and 15-5 singles record at Michigan this spring, including a Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week honor in February. Xepoleas proved her mettle and dominated the match pulling out a 6-2, 6-2 victory to advance to the finals. In the championship match, she was faced with the tournament's No. 5 seed, Sarah Toti of Tennessee. Xepoleas showed why she is the region's top individual with a 6-3, 6-1 thrashing to claim the title.
Xepoleas is the eighth-ranked player nationally and joins Daniela Vidal to make up the nation's eighth-best recruiting class. Xepoleas is the highest ranked individual to ever come to Purdue and the class is also the best since the ranking system began.