OMAHA, Neb. -- Strong performances from standouts Creighton's Jennie Hartjes and Billy Paluch have both players in the championship round of both singles and doubles action at the Omaha Collegiate Invitational, which began on Saturday in Omaha. Overall, Creighton will have chances at six titles on Sunday.
Paluch, a senior from Rapid City, S.D., defeated Grant Bakke (6-1, 3-6, 6-0) and Mitchel Knight (6-1, 6-1) to move into the singles final against Northern Colorado's Ben Gendron. On the doubles side, Paluch teamed with Brandon Lee to win 8-3 over North Dakota and 8-6 over Northern Colorado's top doubles tandems. Lee and Paluch will face Northern Colorado's Gendron and Knight in Sunday's doubles final.
Hartjes, CU's top women's player, won a pair of singles contests in straight sets to advance to Sunday's title contest vs. North Dakota's Steph Petsis. In doubles play, Hartjes and Anna Kirshenbaum beat teams from South Dakota and Northern Colorado. They'll face Northern Colorado's Elizabeth Tapia and Stephanie Catlin on Sunday in the title tilt.
Also going undefeated on the men's side on Saturday was Anthony Rauschenbach. He picked up straight set victories over North Dakota and Northern Colorado players in Flight E of singles play. Rauschenbach and Quinn Dippel were also unbeaten in Flight C doubles action, topping teams from UND and UNC. They'll face Nebraska Omaha's Erik Anderson and Nathan Anderson on Sunday.
Creighton will also send Taylor Koehrsen to the championship of the Flight E singles bracket for a Sunday match vs. Northern Colorado's Taylor Schumacher. Koehrsen easily dispatched teams from South Dakota and South Dakota State, losing just four of 28 games on the day.
Creighton had numerous other players pick up wins on Saturday.
Elliott Baker and Ryan Norman went 1-1 in doubles play of Flight A and will play for third place on Sunday. Norman also plays for third place in Flight A of the singles bracket on Sunday after going 1-1. Two others playing for third on Sunday are Nick Thompson (Flight D singles), Dippel (Flight B singles) and Lee (Flight B singles). In Flight E singles, Jack Fay went 1-1, as did Sam Wells. In Flight B of doubles, Wells and August Nysted went 1-1 and will play for fifth place. Nysted and Baker also both went 1-1 in singles action of Flight C on Saturday.
Karlin Naslund plays for third place in Flight D, as does Liz Vermillion in Flight C singles, after both women went 1-1. Vermillion and Amanda Noonan will also play for third while teaming up in Flight B of the doubles bracket. Analese Snyder went 1-1 and will play for fifth place in singles play of Flight A. The same can be said of Noonan (Flgiht D singles) and Sam Anderson (Flight B singles).
Play at the Omaha Collegiate Invitational conclues on Sunday, with matches beginning at 9 am.