Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Riske represents at U.S. Open

Alison Riske, a McMurray resident, had her stay at the U.S. Open end Tuesday when she lost in the second round of the Junior Girls singles tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
Riske, 17, lost to Poland’s Katarzyna Piter, 6-1, 6-4. Piter is the tournament’s 16th seed.
In the first round, Riske defeated Alexsandra Kolesnicmenko, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Riske was one of the final 16 players left in the tournament.
“It’s amazing when you think about what she’s done,” Peters Township girls tennis coach Brandt Bowman said. “In the U.S. Open Juniors, she won a round and, with that, you can argue that she’s one of the top 16 junior players in the world.
“That’s pretty awesome.”
Riske made a splash during the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament, held two weeks ago in New York.
She upset Sorana Cirstea of Roman, 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the first round. Cirstea is ranked No. 140 and was seeded 30th for the tournament.
“There’s not much difference between the No. 140 girl and the No. 1 girl,” Bowman said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Riske’s attempt to qualify for the Women’s Open ended when she lost to American Julie Ditty, 6-2, 6-1, in the second round. Ditty played with Sarah Riske, Alison’s sister, at Vanderbilt University. Riske earned a wild-card spot for the qualifier by finishing second at the Girls 18 U.S. National Hardcourt Championship in Berkeley, Calif.
Riske is the defending WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion and her play led Peters Township to its first state team tennis title.
According to Bowman, Riske wants to play the 2007 season but she’s already missed three matches. Peters Township is 3-0 and has 18 scheduled matches. There is a 75-percent participation rule to qualify for the individual tournaments.
“The most she can miss is four,” Bowman said. “It doesn’t look like she’s going to play.”

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