Panthers to visit UMass Boston for semifinals on Thursday
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Kerstin Venincasa (Sutton, Mass.) and freshman Hanna Street (New Castle, N.H.) each won twice to spark third-seeded Plymouth State University to a 5-2 win over sixth-seeded Western Connecticut State University in the opening round of the Little East Conference (LEC) women's tennis tournament at the Holderness School Courts on Tuesday afternoon.
With the win the Panthers improve to 10-5 and advance to face second-seeded UMass Boston in the semifinal round on Thursday (Oct. 17) at 1:00 p.m. WestConn ends its season with a 5-10 mark.
PSU took a 2-1 lead through the completion of doubles play and the Panthers added two quick points in singles action to push the lead to 4-1. WestConn cut into the margin with a win at No. 2 singles, but Street was able to hold off her opponent to wrap up the win.
Plymouth State 5, WestConn 2
Plymouth State (10-5)
How it Happened:
- Street and freshman Kira Winter (Eliot, Maine) cruised past junior Lesley Coronel (Danbury, Conn.) and freshman Arianna Ragoo (Danbury, Conn.) to take No. 3 doubles by an 8-0 margin.
- WestConn evened the score with an 8-4 win at No. 1. Junior Maggie McCarthy (Marion, Mass.) and freshman Megan Marshall (Dartmouth, Mass.) rallied from a 4-1 deficit, but senior Emma Chapman (Danbury, Conn.) and graduate student Carole Allers (Wilton, Conn.) were able to hold on for the victory.
- Venincasa and junior Jenna Sundquist (Monument Beach, Mass.) outlasted WestConn senior Pooja Dudhedia (Brookfield, Conn.) and freshman Sarah Silva (Brookfield, Conn.), 8-6, in a highly contested match at No. 2 doubles to put PSU ahead 2-1.
- Venincasa coasted at No. 4 singes, with a quick 6-0, 6-1 win, while Marshall topped Coronel in straight sets (6-2, 6-2) to push the Panthers' advantage to 4-1.
- Allers eased past Winter at No. 2 singles (6-2, 6-1) to tighten the margin, but Street was able to fend off a rally from Silva at No. 5 (6-2, 6-4) to wrap up the match.
Inside the Numbers:
- Street improves to 12-2 in singles play. The 12 wins are tied for the fourth most in a season in program history.
- Venincasa (11-2) has won six straight singles matches and improves to 9-1 at No. 4 this fall, one win shy of the program record (10-1 by Rachel Xavier in 2004).
- Marshall added her ninth singles win of the year (9-4).
- Venincasa and Sundquist are 10-4 as a pair this season. Sundquist has gone 35-8 in doubles play for her career.
- Plymouth State has reached double digit win totals in each of the last three seasons, extending a school record.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"Kerstin [Venincasa] played great today," said head coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett. "Hanna [Street] played really well in front of everybody to clinch the match, and Maggie [McCarthy] did well after coming back to win the second set at No. 1 singles. She's become a really gutsy player for us at that position over the last few matches. Megan [Marshall] took care of business at No. 3 and we got a key win at No. 2 doubles that helped set the tone."
- The Panthers head to second-seeded UMass Boston on Thursday (Oct. 17) for the semifinal round. The Beacons topped PSU by a 6-3 margin in mid-September, while Plymouth State will be looking for a second straight trip to the championship match. First serve is set for 1:00 p.m., which will be played at Weymouth Club in Weymouth, Mass.
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