Ireme pulls out win to clinch team victory for Panthers
WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Irene Ireme (Concord, N.H.) came back from a 5-0 deficit in the second set to win in a tiebreaker Saturday afternoon and help Plymouth State University edge Worcester State University, 5-4, in the Little East Conference women's tennis regular season finale for both schools at the Clark University Courts.
Ireme defeated Worcester State sophomore Nathalie Khafaga (Auburn, Mass.) 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) in the decisive match at No. 4 singles. The win gives the Panthers an 8-5 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the LEC, while the Lancers wrap up the regular season with a 5-9 overall record and a 3-5 LEC mark.
The afternoon started out with a Plymouth State on top as sophomore Sunny Jakubas (Califon, N.J.) and junior Rachel Gustafson (Belchertown, Mass.) won at No. 2 doubles. WSU junior Shelby Jankins (W. Brookfield, Mass.) and senior Megan Shepard (Middletown, Conn.) came in next, defeating the Panthers' senior Zara Jakubas (Califon, N.J.) and Ireme, 8-6.
The last doubles match consisted of freshman Kelley Corson (Exeter, N.H.) and senior Peyton Smith (Stuttgart, Germany) winning in the No. 3 slot, 8-5, giving the Panthers the 2-1 advantage going into the singles competition.
PSU went ahead 4-1 when Sunny and Zara Jakubas won in straight sets at No. 2 and No. 1, respectively. Worcester State came back with two back-to-back wins as senior Cassandra Gonclaves (Ludlow, Mass.) and sophomore Olivia Budney (Webster, Mass.) recorded victories at No. 5 and No. 5 singles, but Ireme rallied to clinch the win for PSU.
The two teams will face up once again on Tuesday for post season play as the third-seeded Panthers host the sixth-seeded Lancers in the LEC quarterfinals at the Holderness School Courts (3:30 p.m.)
-- 30 --