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NOVOTNY REACHES SEMI-FINALS OF ITA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT NEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
UMBC junior Josef Novotny won four matches to advance to the semi-finals of the ITA Regional Championships, held at the University of Pennsylvania. Seeded #12, Novotny defeated players from Princeton (6-2, 6-4) and Brown (6-3,6-2) to earn his way to the round of 16. He then was forced to a pair of three-set matches, triumphing 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 over Binghamton and 3-6,6-4, 7-6 (7-4) over Chris Drake of Brown in the quarter-finals. Novotny fended off two matches points and Drake served for the match at 4-5 and 5-6 before Novotny prevailed. The matches took their toll as he fell, 6-1, 6-3 to #3 seed Oscar Cho of Columbia in the semis.Novotny combined with Luis Baraldi to win, 8-3, over West Virginia in the first round of doubles, but fell, 8-5 vs. Princeton in the round of 16. For his efforts, Novotny earned NEC Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. "Joe played very well in some very tough matches," said Head Coach Keith Puryear. "He could have folded on several occasions, but he hung tough. It's something UMBC tennis has not experienced before, having a player reach the semis in an event like this. This goes a long way to establish us as an up-and-coming program in the region."Both Jana Karaskova and Tia Kaasalainen competed at the ITA Regional Championsihps at Harvard. Karaskova earned her way into the main draw with with a pair of three-set wins over players from Penn (6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)) and Boston College, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. She advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Albany, but fell to the #1 seed from Penn, 6-1, 6-1. Karaskova was named NEC Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the second time this fall.Kaasalainen, in the main draw, advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Coppin State, but fell to the #9 seed, also from Penn, 6-2, 7-6. The duo lost their first round doubles match to Army, 9-7.