Players from four teams will square-off this weekend during the 2016 Warrior Tennis Invitational at the Stan State Tennis Courts on campus, starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
The event, in its third season, hosted by Stanislaus State will also feature Sonoma State, Dominican and Arizona Christian. The tournament runs through Sunday early afternoon.
Sonoma State, which ended the 2015-16 season as the 21st ranked team in Division II, swept through last year's Warrior Tennis Invitational as the Seawolves won all three singles brackets and the doubles bracket. SSU's Jensyn Warren and Karlee Budge are back to defend their singles titles in their respective draws. This time around, Warren is seeded No. 1 in the Gold (A) Singles bracket and Budge is the No. 2 seed in the Red (B) Singles draw.
Warren ended the 2015-16 season as the 36th ranked player in Division II (7th in the West Region). She recently placed fifth at the ITA Oracle Cup in Surprise, Ariz.
Last year's doubles champion Kaitlyn Haithcock and Jacqueline Ward will not return as a duo, but Sonoma State still has the top seeded doubles team in Jenna DeTurk and Warren. Haithcock is back with a new partner in Katie Long.
For Stanislaus State, the Warriors will suit-up five players, four of which are returners. Jaella Conway is the No. 2 seed in the Gold bracket after advancing to the semifinal round a year ago. Also in the Gold bracket are sophomore Cassidy Ferrell and transfer Sofia Helgstrand. Ferrell is coming off a competitive freshman season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WTI last year.
In the Red bracket, J'Ana Diamond will hold the top seeded spot with a first round bye before taking the court as a singles player at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Ebone Qualls is also in this pool and has a Noon-date against Arizona Christian's Elizabeth Kelly. Qulls was in the Red (C) draw semifinals of this tournament last year.
In doubles play, Conway and Ferrell pair-up as the No. 2 seeded team in the tournament and will also begin the event with a bye. Diamond and Qualls will also compete in the doubles competition and begins the day on Friday against Sonoma's Hillary Fazeksa and Budge.
Sitting out the tournament is Analyssa Tallas, who is nursing an injury.
Dominican also competed in the tournament last year with Alex Wartenberg advancing the furthest to the semifinal round of the Gold (B) bracket. The Penguins' doubles team of Brooke Briseno and Ricki Torres played in the semifinals as well.
New to the event is Arizona Christian, a NAIA program in the Golden State Athletic Conference from Phoenix, Ariz. Doubles team Mikayla Morgan and Autria Compton played in the ITA Cup last week and finished sixth in the NAIA division.