Venincasa clinches win with another three-set victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's tennis team earned a second straight 5-4 victory, this time topping NCAA Division II opponent Franklin Pierce University in another lengthy contest at the Holderness School Tennis Courts.
The Panthers continued their strong pairs play, jumping out to an early 2-1 lead. Franklin Pierce took the first singles match to even things at 2-2, but wins from senior Megan Wheeler (Manchester, N.H.) and sophomore Jenna Sundquist (Monument Beach, Mass.) left PSU one point short of the win. After FPU pulled to 4-3, sophomore Kerstin Venincasa (Sutton, Mass.) sealed the win for the second consecutive match with another come-from-behind, three set victory.
PSU moves to 2-0, while Franklin Pierce drops its season opener to start the year 0-1.
Plymouth State 5, Franklin Pierce 4
Plymouth State 2-0
Franklin Pierce 0-1
How it Happened:
* The Panthers once again received strong play in the doubles round, with Sundquist and Venincasa holding on for an 8-6 win at No. 3. Soon after, sophomores Sage Winter (New Castle, N.H.) and Maggie McCarthy (Marion, Mass.) earned another point for the Panthers with an 8-5 win at No. 1.
* Franklin Pierce evened things with wins at No. 2 doubles and No. 2 singles to make it 2-2.
* Wheeler coasted to a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 6 singles and Sundquist followed with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 4 to give PSU a 4-2 lead.
* FPU junior Alana Wyatt (Worcester, Mass.) held off Winter for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win at No. 1 to pull the Ravens to within a point.
* Venincasa dropped the opening set at No. 5, temporarily giving the Ravens hope for a comeback, but for the second straight contest she rallied for a three-set win (4-6, 7-5, 6-3) to make PSU 2-0 for the first time since 2014.
Inside the Numbers:
* Venincasa, the defending Little East Conference (LEC) Player of the Week, is a perfect 4-0 between singles and doubles play to start the year.
* Wheeler improved to 2-0 in singles play, earning a key point for the second straight match.
* PSU holds a 9-3 advantage in the all-time series, but prior to today's contest the teams had traded wins and losses over the past seven meetings. The Panthers also earned a 5-4 win over the Ravens a year ago.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"What an evenly played match," commented head coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett. "It came down to the last three singles matches that went into a third set. It was gutsy play by all, especially considering the heat."
* Plymouth State continues its home stand at the Holderness School Tennis Courts on Saturday (Sept. 8) against LEC preseason favorite Rhode Island College. First serve is set for 1:00 p.m.
* The Ravens take on Saint Michael's College in the Northeast-10 Conference opener at home on Sunday (Sept. 9, 1:00 p.m.).
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