TOWSON, Md. — For the second year in a row, it was left to one of head coach Sally Baum's players today to prevent Rachel Fein from Gwynedd Mercy from successfully defending her title in the No. 1 singles draw at the Goucher Invitational.
Fein first reached the finals in the tournament's top singles bracket in 2011 and claimed the title by defeating Arica Christman from Penn State-Behrend 7-6 (9-7), 6-3. She repeated last season by getting past Goucher's Ariel Lin 6-3, 6-4.
To achieve a three-peat, she was going to have to knock off Goucher's Amanda Bercovici (Hackensack, N.J./Bergen Tech), who not seriously challenged on the way to the finals this weekend. Bercovici opened the tournament with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Michelle Cameron from Misericordia and followed that up by taking out Krystle Bendijo from Richard Stockton 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals.
Bercovici grabbed the opening set in today's encounter, 6-3, but Fein wasn't about to surrender her title easily and battled back to prevail in the second set, 6-4. Bercovici, however, succeeded in wresting the crown from Fein by winning the third set/super tiebreaker, 10-4.
With her 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-4) triumph over Fein, the junior transfer improved to 6-1 in singles play this season.
In the other three singles draws, Goucher's entrant opened the tournament with a win only to finish in fourth place.
Kirsten Cianci (Bolton, Conn./Bolton) made it to the semifinals in the No. 2 draw by topping Lori Noble from Lebanon Valley 6-4, 6-2, but bowed to Taylor Michener from Gwynedd Mercy 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals and to Chelsea Czerwinski from Penn State-Behrend 6-3, 7-5 in the third-place match.
A 6-0, 6-1 win over Kennedy Logsdon from Frostburg State sent Alice Goldstein-Plesser (Durham, N.C./Durham School of the Arts) into the No. 3 draw semifinals, but she dropped her next two matches. Emily Ruff (Easton, Md./Easton) followed the same path in the No. 4 draw: going 0-2 after opening with a 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (11-7) victory over Cornelia Chmil from Misericordia.
Goucher placed two teams in the No. 1 doubles draw and they met for seventh place, which went to Ryan Derham (San Anselmo, Calif./Sir Francis Drake) and Hanora Barron (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) for their 6-1, 6-1 win over Ellie Grubb (Charleston, W.Va./Charleston Catholic) and Amber Penaloza (Damascus, Md./Damascus).