GORHAM, Maine - A disappointing finish at the Little East Conference championships won't ruin what was otherwise a very successful season for Plymouth State College's women's tennis team.
The Panthers placed fifth out of six teams at the annual LEC Tournament Friday and Saturday, finishing with six points in the team scoring. Rhode Island College won the championship with 20 points, followed by UMass Boston with 18, Southern Maine with 10, UMass Dartmouth with 6.5, PSC with six, and Western Connecticut with two.
"It was a tough situation, and the girls just had a bad day," said PSC coach Judy Switzer. "The tournament was forced indoors due to the weather, and because of some byes, we had to sit around all day, and we didn't get much warm-up time. It was difficult, but that's the way it goes. I know our girls tried their hardest, and what more can you ask?"
This performance came at the end of a strong 2001 campaign, when the Panthers finished 8-3 overall. They rang up more victories than the last two years combined, and posted the most wins in a season since the 1990 squad went 9-3. PSC was 4-1 in LEC dual matches, and tied RIC for the top spot during the regular season.
"We're still happy with the season," said Switzer. "We had a darn good year, and this is absolutely the best bunch of girls. We had some laughs; we had a good time."
PSC started the tournament off well on Friday, with all three Panther doubles tandems winning their first-round match. Unfortunately, all three went down to defeat in the semi-finals of their respective flights -- junior Jamie Hazard (Foster, R.I.) and sophomore Katie Olsen (Reading, Mass.) at No. 1, junior Sarah Kasuba (Stratford, Conn.) and sophomore Cally Thorup (Cumberland, Maine) at No. 2, and sophomore Holly Mills (Reading, Mass.) and freshman Kelley Sheehan (Newburyport, Mass.) at No. 3. Mills and Sheehan finish the season an 8-2 mark, the best doubles record on the team.
In singles action, Hazard and Kasuba picked up first round victories in the 1st and 3rd flights, respectively, but similar to the doubles results, were defeated in the next round, the semi-finals. Olsen and sophomore Lindsay Coletti (Hudson, Mass.) received first-round byes in the 2nd and 5th flights, respectively, but lost a three-set match in the semi-finals. Thorup and freshman Cassie Cash (Bath, Maine) were knocked off in the first round of the 4th and 6th flights, respectively, but came back with consolation round victories.
Kasuba finished with the best singles record on the team at 11-2, while Olsen was 10-2. Hazard recorded an 8-5 singles mark, Cash was 7-2, and Coletti finished at 6-2.
The remaining members of the team include juniors Stacy Wright (Harwich, Mass.) and Tracy Grosner (Milford, Conn.), sophomore Molly Barnaby (Portsmouth, N.H.) and freshman Rebecca Love (Bedford, N.H.).