Venincasa seals the Panthers' win with three set thriller
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's tennis team earned a 5-4 victory over Little East Conference (LEC) opponent University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at the Holderness School Tennis Courts on Saturday.
The grueling match lasted four-and-a-half hours and featured multiple tie-breaks and three-set decisions. The Panthers started out on fire sweeping the doubles competition to build a 3-0 lead. UMass Dartmouth caught some fire of its own, squaring the match at 3-3 after winning the first three single matches. In Plymouth's second to last match of the day sophomore Kerstin Venincasa (Sutton, Mass.) iced things for the Panthers, rallying from an opening set loss to post a win at No. 5 singles.
Plymouth State 5, UMass Dartmouth 4
Plymouth State 1-0, 1-0 LEC
UMass Dartmouth 0-1, 0-1 LEC
How it Happened:
* The Corsairs got a point from senior Jenna Lahaie (Lakeville, Mass.) at No. 1, who won her match (6-2, 6-4).
* UMD added wins at No. 4 and No. 3 singles to even the score at 3-3.
* Senior Megan Wheeler (Manchester, N.H.) came up huge for the Panthers, outlasting sophomore Emma Sokolovsky (Canton, Mass.) in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to put PSU up 4-3.
* Although the Panthers needed to win just one of the final two singles matches to secure the victory, UMD took the opening sets at both No. 2 and No. 5.
* Venincasa stormed back at No. 5 after a narrow 5-7 loss to take the next two sets by identical 6-3 scores to clinch the victory for the Panthers
Inside the Numbers:
* Sophomore Jenna Sundquist (Monument Beach, Mass.) has dominated doubles play since her arrival last fall. The sophomore now has a career 12-2 mark in pairs action and is a perfect 9-0 when playing at No. 3 doubles.
* PSU improves to 13-8 all-time against UMD. The Panthers have won four-of-five.
* The two teams are accustomed to nail-biters, as each of the last four meetings have been decided by a 5-4 margin.
* The Corsairs were picked just ahead of PSU in the LEC Preseason Coaches' Poll. UMass Dartmouth was picked second with 65 points, while the Panthers were third with 64 points.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We played outstanding doubles on all three courts today," said head coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett. "We were scrappy and gutsy in singles play today and we were able to pull it out. This was a big test for us right off the bat. On the whole, I'm extremely pleased from what I saw today from everybody."
* PSU will host NCAA Division II Franklin Pierce on Tuesday (Sept. 4) at the Holderness School Tennis Courts. First serve is set for 3:30 p.m.
* UMass Dartmouth remains in league action with a home match against Southern Maine next Saturday (Sept. 8) at 1:00 p.m.
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