Fritschken Captures Women's Tennis Title at FIU

Fritschken Captures Women's Tennis Title at FIU
Linda Fritschken beat an NCAA Division I opponent for the third straight day to win the Florida International End of the Fall Invitational. Photo by Joel Auerbach

MIAMI -- Linda Fritschken ended the fall season as a champion.

Fritschken, Barry's sophomore women's tennis player from Berlin, Germany, defeated Ball State's Courtney Wild, 6-4, 6-1, to win the Flight 1 singles championship at Florida International University's End of the Fall Invitational Sunday. 

"Compared to the other tournaments, I felt in much better shape," Fritschken said. "For the tournament, I think I played good tennis and I was confident. I'm happy with my game."

Fritschken went 3-0 over the three-day tournament featuring NCAA Division I schools and the Buccaneers, one of the NCAA Division II's best women's tennis programs. Her title came in the top flight.

Fritschken lost the first game in the opening set before taking the lead for good, and never looking back. 

"In the beginning I was not sure how I had to play against her, but then I figured out I had to be more patient," Fritschken said. "I could not just play my game because we had some really long rallies."

Fritschken beat two Ball State opponents and another from the United States Air Force Academy during the tourney.

"It makes you proud. You feel really confident when all your opponents are Division I," she said. "We see that we have a really high level at Barry."

Akemi Maehama, a junior from Tokyo, Japan, took the runner-up honor in the Flight 3 singles final after falling to Air Force's Natasha Rizvi, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. 

"It wasn't actually the ideal match," Maehama said. "I played better in the other two tournaments. I completely lost focus. My first set was good."

Maehama went 2-1 in the event, beating two Division I opponents, including one from Ball State and the other from Air Force.

"I feel like I've been playing better this fall," Maehama said. "I got a better understanding of how to control the match. Not including today's match, even if I lost sometimes, it wasn't a disappointment because I knew what was going on, and what happened. I was always in control. It was good that it was me that can control the match.

"I just wanted to prove to myself and everybody else what I can do. It didn't matter who I was playing. The whole semester for me, it was just a challenge for me. I feel good because a lot of people don't think we can play with the bigger schools. It feels good that we can beat people from Division I. We can show them that we're not bad. It's a good feeling to win against Division I. We can bring them back to earth."