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October 15, 2003

PSU to host Little East Conference Women’s Tennis Championships

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The six women's tennis teams in the Little East Conference will converge on Plymouth State University this weekend for the 10th Annual LEC Championship Tournament.

PSU will host Rhode Island College, the University of Southern Maine, Western Connecticut State University and the Universities of Massachusetts Boston and Dartmouth in the two-day event at the P.E. Center Courts. The teams will divide into nine brackets (six singles and three doubles), with an entry from each school in each bracket. The first of three rounds of play Friday begins at 12:30 p.m. Action resumes at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with the singles finals penciled in for 11:00 a.m. and the doubles finals slated for 1:00 p.m.

Southern Maine will be seeking to defend its title and earn its third championship in four years. The Huskies won last year's tournament, accumulating 22 team points, while Plymouth State (14) edged RIC (13) for second place. Rhode Island College, which won the title two years ago, is 4-0 in LEC duals this season, the only team with an unbeaten conference record.

After a slow start, Plymouth State won four of its last five matches this fall to finish with a 5-5 record. Senior Katie Olsen (Reading, Mass.), who has a record of 7-3, and sophomore Rachel Xavier (Meredith, N.H.), who is 7-2, share the team lead in singles victories. Sophomore Megan Sowers (Londonderry, N.H.) has posted a 5-4 mark, and senior Cally Thorup (Cumberland, Maine) is 4-3. PSU's top two players, sophomores Jessie Leone (Cataumet, Mass.) and Whitney O'Leary (Sagamore Beach, Mass.), have played well but have faced tough competition at the top of the line-up.

Leone and O'Leary have held their own at the No. 1 doubles spot, maintaining a 4-5 record. Olsen and Sowers have split their eight matches at No. 2 doubles, and Xavier and Thorup have posted a 5-1 mark at No. 3.

The tournament will also mark the conclusion of the career of PSU head coach Judy Switzer, who is retiring after six years as Panther coach.

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