Panthers head to LEC Tournament on nine-match streak
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's tennis team sent its senior class out in style, rolling to an 8-1 win over Bridgewater State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) match at the Holderness School Tennis Courts on Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers wrap up the regular season with an 11-2 mark, the second most wins in program history, and will head into the LEC Tournament next week riding a nine-match winning streak.
After going 8-1 in conference play, PSU is locked into the number two seed for the upcoming tournament and receives a bye to Friday's semifinal match. The Bears (7-8, 4-5 LEC) await the results of additional conference matches to determine their postseason seeding.
Plymouth State 8, Bridgewater State 1
Plymouth State 11-2, 8-1 LEC
Bridgewater State 7-8, 4-5 LEC
How it Happened:
* Sophomores Sage Winter (New Castle, N.H.) and Maggie McCarthy (Marion, Mass.) got the afternoon off to a good start, earning a quick 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles over junior Angelique Gray (Osterville, Mass.) and senior Rachel Tarantino (Mansfield, Mass.).
* Classmates Jenna Sundquist (Monument Beach, Mass.) and Kerstin Venincasa (Sutton, Mass.) continued their strong play at No. 3 doubles with an 8-4 win over senior Emily McGrath (North Dartmouth, Mass.) and sophomore Olivia Sweeney (Taunton, Mass.). With the score 5-4, Sundquist and Venincasa took the final three games to earn the win.
* Kigugu and Wheeler, playing as partners in their final regular season contest, jumped out to a quick 7-2 advantage at No. 2. BSU sophomore Madison Butkus (Attleboro, Mass.) and junior Emma Mills (Westport, Mass.) won three straight games to pull within 7-5 before the Panther duo wrapped up the 8-5 win.
* Wheeler topped McGrath in straight sets at No. 6 singles (6-2, 6-1) and Winter secured the win for PSU with a 6-3, 6-0 decision over Mills at No. 1.
* Gray grabbed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Sundquist at No. 4 singles to secure the Bears' lone point of the afternoon.
* Kigugu toppled Tarantino, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 3 to extend the lead to 6-1.
* McCarthy and Venincasa faced tough competition at No. 2 and No. 5. McCarthy dropped the first set to Sweeney, 3-6, but rebounded with a 6-3 win of her own. She took the decisive super breaker by a 10-6 score.
* Venincasa faced a similar situation, dropping the first set 5-7. She rebounded with a definitive, 6-0 win in set two, then wrapped up the match with a 10-4 win in the third set super breaker.
Inside the Numbers:
* Venincasa and Wheeler enter the tournament on fire in singles play. Venincasa improves to 10-2 overall and has won eight straight matches, while Wheeler ends the regular season with a 9-2 mark and winner of seven in a row.
* The duo of McCarthy and Winter closes the regular season with an impressive 10-2 mark.
* The team of Sundquist and Venincasa picked up a seventh consecutive win to improve to 9-2.
* The Panthers went 29-10 (.744) in pairs action this season, and swept doubles play for the sixth time this season.
* Bridgewater State is one of the few teams that have given the Panthers trouble in recent years. The Bears had won 12-of-15 against PSU dating back to the 2004 season, including each of the last four meetings.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We played tough in both singles and doubles today," said head coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett, "and won this match for our seniors, Irene and Megan. We are ready for the tournament and will work hard this week to prepare for the semifinals on Friday."
* The Panthers prepare for the LEC Tournament. As the No. 2 seed, PSU receives a first round bye and will play the winner of the No. 3/No. 6 matchup in a semifinal game on Friday (Oct. 19) at Rhode Island College. Match time has yet to be determined.
* Bridgewater State will finish as either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed, pending the results of other conference matches. The Bears would play in a first round game on Tuesday (Oct. 16).
|Rawlsky-Willett, Kigugu, Wheeler and Asst. Coach Tim Losee (L-R)|
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