Pecotic, Muliawan Fall in National Indoor Openers
Princeton's two entrants in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships fell in their first-round matches Thursday in New York.
Muliawan fell 6-3, 6-3 to Danielle Collins of Florida in the round of 32, and Pecotic forced a third set against Virginia's Mac Styslinger after dropping the opener but ultimately fell 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. Both players won their brackets at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional last month, while Pecotic first clinched his berth by making the quarterfinals on his way to the semifinals at the ITA All-America earlier last month.
"I give Styslinger credit," Princeton head men's coach Billy Pate said. "He played a great match and did some things offensively that neutralized some of Matija's normal areas of strength. Matija didn't play his best match and just couldn't seize the momentum. However, he did some things well in transition while getting to the net and volleying effectively. Though he's disappointed, tomorrow is a new day and we're looking forward to continuing in the tournament and playing better."
Pecotic fell to 21-2 this fall, ending a 10-match winning streak. Muliawan fell to 11-3, also seeing a 10-match winning streak end.
"It is a great experience for Amanda to make it here and compete against a player from the number one team in the country, the University of Florida," Princeton women's assistant coach Sadhaf Fath said. "She really feels like she belongs out there with these top girls, and this is great preparation for big tournaments like the NCAA event."
Both players will have consolation matches Friday, Pecotic at 4:30 p.m. against Victor Valente of Georgia State and Muliawan at 2:30 p.m. against Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar of Texas A&M, the No. 4-ranked player in the nation on the ITA preseason list.
More information on the tournament can be found here.