Panthers' impressive season comes to an end
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Top-seeded Rhode Island College captured its second consecutive Little East Conference (LEC) women's tennis championship with a 5-1 win over second-seeded Plymouth State University at the RIC Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Anchorwomen, who topped fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth 5-2 in yesterday's second semifinal, advance to the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championship to be played in the spring of 2019. The Panthers, who earned a dramatic 5-4 win over third-seeded Salem State, have their season come to an end.
RIC sophomore Hailey Raskob (North Smithfield, R.I.) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
No. 2 Plymouth State 1, No. 1 Rhode Island 5
No. 2 Plymouth State 12-3
No. 1 Rhode Island 17-0
How it Happened:
* The Anchorwomen jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with wins at No. 2 and No. 1 doubles.
* It looked like RIC might sweep pairs play as sophomores Serena Bobola (Cranston, R.I.) and Emily Orticerio (Smithfield, R.I.) took a 6-3 lead, but the Panthers' sophomore tandem of Jenna Sundquist (Monument Beach, Mass.) and Kerstin Venincasa (Sutton, Mass.) rallied to earn a 9-7 win at No. 3.
* Rhode Island pushed the lead to 4-1 as Raskob topped senior Irene Kigugu (Concord, N.H.), 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles, and sophomore Laurel Ten Eyck (Warwick, R.I.) held off senior Megan Wheeler (Manchester, N.H.), 6-0, 6-2 at No. 6.
* RIC freshman Clara Siegmund (Pomfret, Conn.) clinched the title for the Anchorwomen with a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 5 over Venincasa.
Inside the Numbers:
* RIC has gone 34-1 over the last two seasons, with the sole loss coming in the NCAA Tournament last spring.
* The Panthers' 12-3 mark is the second best in program history, behind just the 14-1 year by the 2014 team.
* Sundquist and Venincasa finished the season an impressive 11-2 as a team, including wins in their final nine doubles matches.
* Venincasa, Wheeler and Sundquist all had strong seasons in singles play. Venincasa finished 11-3 playing primarily at No. 5, while Wheeler posted a 10-3 overall record with most of the action coming at No. 6.
* Sundquist, who occupied the No. 3 and No. 4 spots throughout the year, finished with a 9-5 record.
* The Panthers fell to RIC in the regular season by a 7-2 margin.
* The loss signifies the ends of the careers of Wheeler and Kigugu.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We got close," said head coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett. "We played great against a very good RIC team. I'm proud of what we accomplished this year."
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