Yuliya Orkis ’15 Reaches Intercollegiate Tennis Regional Semis; Ends Among Top 4

BROOKLYN, NY– After a spectacular run in the 2013 USTA/ITA Division III Women’s Northeast Regional Championships, twelfth-seed Brooklyn College junior Yuliya Orkis lost a hard fought match in the semifinals round against Ithaca College’s Cristina Nunez, the top overall-seed in the tournament. The score was 6-3, 6-4.

This marks the first career loss in singles play for Orkis, the reigning two-time City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Player of the Year. In both 2011 and 2012, Orkis’ winning record was a stunning 12-0. Her overall record stands now 32-1.

“While it was hurtful to have lost, it was more fulfilling to know that I made it that far,” said Orkis, a theater major who plans to become an actress and go to graduate school. “I’m happy to know that my ability was put to the test, but I proved to not only my peers, but especially myself, that I still have some fire inside.”

USTA-ITA is the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, a division of the U.S. Tennis Association. The regional championships feature some of the top college players across the country. The tournament was held over the weekend at Hobart and William Smith College, in the New York State Finger Lakes area.

Orkis first defeated Ramapo College’s Carly Agrifolio, 6-1, 6-0, to advance to the next round. Later that day she defeated Skidmore College’s Robyn Baird, 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the round of 16.

On the regional’s second day, Orkis continued her stellar play, upsetting the eighth-seed Ashley Masanto from New York University, 6-1, 6-2. She later downed thirteenth-seed Mare Santos of SUNY Geneseo, 6-1, 6-0, to earn her spot in the semifinals round.

“Sixty-four of the best tennis players in our region competed here this weekend and for Julie—as she’s known to her friends—to finish in the top four, I couldn’t be more proud,” said head coach Ahmad Odetalla. “She carried herself with class the entire time, and although I’m sure she was disappointed in how it ended, she never showed it. Julie is a very special player for us and I’m so glad that other schools got a chance to see that as well.”

“Playing in Geneva, New York, was a very rewarding experience,” added Orkis, who hails from Ukraine but moved to the U.S. at an early age with her parents. “I have not competed at such a high level of tennis in many years. Going back out on the court in a tournament setting felt familiar, yet foreign at the same time,” said Orkis. “I was at a new stage of my life and it was almost as if I was starting over.”

Orkis will continue to play the rest of the 2013 regular CUNYAC season, as the Brooklyn College women’s tennis team (8-0 overall, 4-0 CUNYAC) has a crucial conference match this Thursday, October 3, against the College of Staten Island. The match is scheduled for a 4:00 pm start time at the Roosevelt Courts on our campus.

Contact: Ernesto Mora / 718-951-6377 / emora@brooklyn.cuny.edu