Panthers to host LEC play-off match on Tuesday
BOSTON – The Plymouth State University women's tennis team completed the regular season on a winning note Saturday afternoon, defeating the University of Massachusetts Boston 8-1 in a Little East Conference match at the Boston College High School courts.
The Panthers wind up the regular season with a 7-6 overall record and a 5-3 mark in conference matches. The Beacons fell to 3-9 and 1-6 in LEC play. PSU finished in fourth place in the Little East, and will host fifth-seeded Rhode Island College Tuesday at the PE Center Courts (3:00 p.m.) in the first round of the LEC Tournament.
Senior Sara Burke (Barrington, R.I.) and junior Molly Heartfield (Dorset, Vt.) led the Panthers to the win over the Beacons. Burke posted a 6- 3, 6-3 victory at No. 1 singles and Heartfield won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2, and they teamed together for a hard-fought 9-7 triumph at No. 1 doubles. Burke improved to 9-4 in singles this fall while Heartfield is 8-4 and they are 9-2 as a tandem at No. 1 doubles.
Burke also recorded her 30th career singles victory (30-20), all coming at the No. 1 position. She is the sixth player in school history to reach at least 30 singles wins, and the first to do it at No. 1.
PSU's freshman duo of Nitsa Ioannides (El Cajon, Calif.) and Andra Dion (Holderness, N.H.) continued their strong play and each picked up a pair of wins. They started with an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles, and then followed with straight set wins at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively. Ioannides has a team-best record of 10-2. Junior Chelsea Thibeault (Manchester, N.H.) was also a double-winner for the Panthers, posting a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 6 singles after teaming with classmate Jane Duggan (Saunderstown, R.I.) for an 8-4 win at third doubles.
Tuesday's LEC Tournament quarterfinal at PSU against RIC is a rematch of the regular season clash on Sept. 29, which was won by the Panthers, 5-4. PSU won in the top three singles and the top two doubles flights to pull out the victory. The Panthers defeated UMass Boston at home in the first round of last year's LEC Tournament.
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