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Alisha Chulani (l) won twice in singles and once in doubles with Nikolina Batoshvili (r)
Alisha Chulani (l) won twice in singles and once in doubles with Nikolina Batoshvili (r)

Chulani Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals in Singles, Chulani/Batoshvili Advance in Doubles

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Alisha Chulani won a pair of singles matches on the first day of the NCAA Division III Individual Championships, and then finished off the day with a win in doubles with Nikolina Batoshvili to advance through to the quarterfinals of both events at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center.

By advancing, Chulani earned All-America honors in singles for the second straight year, and All-America honors in doubles for the third year in a row. Audrey Yoon also picked up a win in singles to earn All-America honors for the second straight season, while Lindsay Eisenman earned it in the fall by winning the ITA West Regionals, as well as in doubles with Ella Brissett. Both Yoon and Eisenman were eliminated today in the Round of 16 and the Round of 32, respectively. 

Chulani started the day by taking on the No. 4 seed, Olivia Soffer from Babson, and controlled the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win. Her second match against Mary Beth Hurley of Johns Hopkins saw her fall behind early with a 6-2 defeat in the first set, but she came back to win in three, taking it 2-6, 6-0, 6-4. With the score tied 4-4, Chulani broke serve and then held at love to secure her spot in the quarterfinals. 

Chulani's day wasn't done yet, though, as she competed in the Round of 16 in doubles in the late afternoon with Batoshvili, as the top seed in the tournament. The Athena duo took on Rebecca Suarez and Bhakti Parwani of Brandeis, winning 6-2, 7-5. With the score tied 5-5, Chulani and Batoshvili won the last two games after being down 15-30, taking the last three points in succession. 

Yoon got off to a terrific start by rolling to a 6-0, 6-1 win over the No. 3 seed, Emily Kantrovitz of Emory. Shen then faced Zoe Kava of Tufts and dropped a first-set tiebreaker 9-7 before bouncing back to get the split with a 6-1 win in the second. She ran out of gas in the final set, though, after the score was tied 3-3 as Kava was able to win the last three games for a 7-6, 1-6, 6-3 win. 

Chulani will make her second straight appearance in the quarterfinals and will face Erica Ekstrand of Williams tomorrow, while she and Batoshvili will face a team from NYU. A win in that one would send them through to play either a rematch against Wesleyan, which knocked off CMS in the team semifinals on Tuesday, or a rematch against SCIAC rival Redlands in Monday's semifinals.