PSU Women’s Tennis cruises past Bridgewater State on Senior Day

PSU Women’s Tennis cruises past Bridgewater State on Senior Day

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.

            Prior to the match, Plymouth State honored seniors Irene Kigugu (Concord, N.H.) and Megan Wheeler (Manchester, N.H.), who both participated in the final home match of their careers.


            The Basics:

            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."


            Up Next:

            * 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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