Panthers’ season ends with quarterfinal loss
DANBURY, Conn. – The fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University women's tennis team defeated fifth-seeded Plymouth State University, 5-2, Tuesday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference Tournament at Westside Courts.
WestConn, now 9-4, will travel to play top seed and regular-season co-champion University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Thursday in the semifinals. PSU completes its season at 6-7, doubling its victory total over last year’s 3-9 record.
The Colonials, the defending LEC regular-season and tournament champions, raced out to a 2-1 advantage after doubles. WestConn's Lauren Post (Danbury, Conn.) and Alyssa Hoynack (Old Lyme, Conn.) avoided a comeback from Sara Burke (Barrington, R.I.) and Molly Heartfield (Dorset, VT) and captured the top pairs, 8-6. Alison Mahony (Bristol, Conn.) and Ashley Gorelik (Brookfield, Conn.) edged out PSU’s tandem of Rachel Figura (Cheshire, Conn.) and Lydia Smith (Marblehead, Mass.), 8-5. Plymouth State junior Laura Donovan (Acton, Mass.) and freshman Jane Duggan (Sauderstown, R.I.) made quick work of Maxx Zimmer (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Liza Zanderigo (Torrington, Conn.), 8-1 in the third flight doubles match.
Post was the first to secure a point in singles play when she rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Burke at the first flight. The Panthers earned their final point when Heartfield cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Elizabeth Bonacci (Danbury, Conn.) at fifth singles.
The final two points of the match came within seconds of each other. First, at third singles, Mohony defeated Figura, 6-3, 6-4. Mahony led 5-0 in the second set, but Figura captured the next four games, but could not get over the hump. Just as Mahony and Figura were shaking hands at the net, Hoynack finished off Donovan, 7-5, 6-1 at number two singles, ending the match.
Smith finished the season as the Panther team leader in singles wins, posting a 9-3 record, while Donovan was 8-3 and Heartfield was 8-1. Smith and Figura ended up with a team-best 6-6 mark in doubles.
(Courtesy of Western Connecticut Sports Information)
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