Panthers fall by the narrowest of margins in semifinal round
BOSTON, Mass. – In an exciting, back-and-forth battle that came down to the very end, second-seeded UMass Boston narrowly held off third-seeded Plymouth State University, 5-4, in the semifinal round of the Little East Conference (LEC) Women's Tennis Tournament at the Weymouth Club on Thursday afternoon.
Plymouth State trailed 4-1, but ripped off three straight wins, including a gutsy three-set performance from freshman Kira Winter (Eliot, Maine), to knot the match at 4-4. Freshman Hanna Street (New Castle, N.H.) fought throughout her third set, but was ultimately nipped 6-2, 4-6, 4-6 as UMass Boston survived to advance.
The Beacons move to 14-1 on the year and will play in the tournament championship on Sunday (Oct. 20). UMB will face the winner of top-seeded Rhode Island College and fifth-seeded Bridgewater State, whose semifinal match is set for tomorrow afternoon. Plymouth State ends its season with a 10-6 mark.
Plymouth State 4, UMass Boston 5
Plymouth State (10-6)
UMass Boston (14-1)
How it Happened:
- The Beacons held a 2-1 advantage following the completion of doubles, with Venincasa and Sundquist teaming up for PSU's point with an 8-6 win at No. 2.
- Freshman Megan Marshall (Dartmouth, Mass.) and junior Maggie McCarthy (Marion, Mass.) were nipped, 8-6, at No. 1, while Winter and Street fell at No. 3 by an 8-4 margin.
- UMass Boston quickly pushed the advantage to 4-1 with straight set wins at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, but Plymouth State responded.
- Venincasa earned a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 4 and Sundquist followed with a 6-3, 6-4 victory at No. 6 to pull the Panthers to within a point, 4-3.
- With the match result on the line, both Winter and Street were locked in third set battles. Winter, playing at No. 2, earned a 6-3 win in the first set. Though she dropped set two by a 6-4 margin, the rookie showed incredible composure to pull out the third set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (7-4) and square the match at 4-4.
- At No. 5, Street took the first set, 6-2, but dropped the final two sets by identical 6-4 scores as UMass Boston escaped with the win.
Inside the Numbers:
- Venincasa finishes the year with a 12-2 mark in singles play and went 10-1 at No. 4 singles to match the program record for wins at that position. Her 29 career wins rank eighth in program history.
- Street wraps up the year with a 12-3 record, while Sundquist and Marshall finished 8-3 and 9-4, respectively. Sundquist improves to 25-12 over her career, ranking just outside the top-ten all-time.
- Marshall's six wins at No. 3 are tied for sixth most, while Street's six wins at No. 5 are tied for seventh most. Sundquist matched the eighth-most wins in a season at No. 6 with five.
- Venincasa and Sundquist improve to 11-4 in doubles play.
- Without a single senior on the roster, Plymouth State should be in prime position for another successful run next fall.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We got so close," said head coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett. "There was gritty, gutsy play right to the end on all courts. I'm so proud of these young women and the way they played and conducted themselves on the court today. Poise, passion and the never-give-up attitude were all present today."
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