AMHERST, Mass. - The final outcome was not what was hoped for, but Plymouth State University's women's tennis team gave their best effort Friday morning in the opening round of the 2007 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Women's Tennis Championships, hosted by Amherst College.
Plymouth State was defeated in the opening match of the tournament by St. Lawrence University, 5-0. The Saints swept the three doubles matches, and following their first two victories in singles, the match was declared over and Saint Lawrence awarded the victory. The winners advance to Saturday's NCAA Second Round, when they will meet host Amherst College at 10:00 a.m. PSU wraps up its season at 8-4 overall.
St. Lawrence won its 12th consecutive match since the beginning of March, improving to 16-2 overall, while PSU was playing its first official match since winning the Little East Conference Championship last October. It was the first NCAA Championships experience for both programs.
The teams played eight-game pro-sets in the three doubles encounters, and PSU gave a solid battle to the Saints but came up short. Sophomore Meghan Rodier (Francestown, N.H./ConVal) and junior Joan Kietzman (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth Regional) managed to win only one game at No. 1 doubles, and senior Erica Huckins (Holderness, N.H./Plymouth Regional) and junior Briley Boisvert (Goffstown, N.H./Manchester Trinity) did the same at No. 2 doubles. Freshmen Denise Huckins (Holderness, N.H./Plymouth Regional) and Melissa Castellano (East Northport, N.Y./John Glenn) were defeated 8-2 at No. 3 doubles.
The Saints were leading in all six singles matches, clinching the team victory with individual triumphs at No. 3 and No. 5 singles. All of the remaining matches were stopped as St. Lawrence was declared the winner.
Not helping the Panther cause was the fact that PSU's No. 1 singles and doubles player from last fall, junior Jill Deyermond (Atkinson, N.H./Timberlane), is studying abroad this semester and missed the event.
"I'm extremely proud of these ladies," said PSU head coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett. "We didn't know what to expect, and we were up against a team that has played a lot of tennis over the last two months. We played hard and gave it our best shot. We just lost to a stronger team, but I'm very proud of this team just being here." St. Lawrence 5, Plymouth State 0
#1 Kirsten Lannon/Anne Moulin (SLU) def. Meghan Rodier/Joan Kietzman (PSU), 8-1
#2 Casey Gilman/Liz Karam (SLU) def. Erica Huckins/Briley Boisvert (PSU), 8-1
#3 Teresa Rodriguez/Denise Kyte (SLU) def. Denise Huckins/Melissa Castellano (PSU), 8-2
#3 Liz Karam (SLU) def. Joan Kietzman (PSU), 6-1, 6-0
#5 Casey Gilman (SLU) def. Brittany Campbell (PSU), 6-0, 6-0
#1 Kirsten Lannon (SLU) vs. Meghan Rodier (PSU), 5-2 (DNF)
#2 Anne Moulin (SLU) vs. Erica Huckins (PSU), 6-3, 2-0 (DNF)
#4 Teresa Rodriguez (SLU) vs. Briley Boisvert (PSU), 6-0, 3-0 (DNF)
#6 Sara Bernier (SLU) vs. Amanda Arponen (PSU), 5-3 (DNF)