HOLDEN, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's tennis team swept all three doubles matches for the first time this season and never looked back in a 7-2 victory over Worcester State University in a Little East Conference match Thursday at Wachusett Regional High School's tennis courts.
The Corsairs (5-2, 3-1 LEC) were without their three leading doubles winners but still managed to win all three doubles matches and open up a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the singles matches. The Lancers dropped to 5-5 overall and 2-3 LEC.
Seniors Casey Auman (North Dartmouth, Mass.) and Liz Cignoli (Springfield, Mass.) got things started with a 8-5 victory over the Lancers' junior duo of Danielle Candeleri (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Taylor Tomasetti (Waterford, Conn.) in the second doubles flight.
It wasn't as simple in the first and third doubles flights, as UMass Dartmouth needed to come-from-behind to claim both of those points. Junior Hannah Schulze (Chelmsford, Mass.) and senior Nicole Pelletier (Swansea, Mass.) rallied from a 3-6 deficit, winning five consecutive games to win 8-6 over sophomore Meg Shepard (Middletown, Conn.) and freshman Shelby Jankins (West Brookfield, Mass.) at first doubles. In third doubles, a new pairing of freshman Katelyn Capone (Abington, Mass.) and senior Alexandra Post (Plymouth, Mass.) took the final three games for an 8-6 victory over seniors Laura Sarkis (West Springfield, Mass.) and Brooke Michanczyk (Middletown, Conn.) at third doubles.
"When the doubles started, we really weren't sure what we were going to get out of them," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Doug Chapman. "What we got out of them were three very solid efforts. Reversing the momentum in two of the doubles matches and winning all three points was huge for us."
Sarkis put the Lancers on the scoreboard and got a measure of revenge against Post, quickly defeating the Corsair senior 6-0, 6-0 in singles after having lost to her in the doubles.
The Corsairs got convincing wins from Pelletier and Capone at first and fifth singles to clinch the victory. Pelletier topped Candeleri 6-2, 6-2 at first singles and Capone won the deciding match over Tomasetti, 6-4, 6-0. It was the rookie's first win at fifth singles after winning four matches at number six.
Michanczyk earned Worcester State's second point, coming from behind to nip Cignoli 1-6, 6-2, 12-10 at fourth singles.
Schulze bested Jankins 6-2, 7-5 at second singles and Auman beat Shepard 6-2, 6-4 at fourth singles to complete the Corsairs' 7-2 victory.
"Our depth has been a key factor in our success," said Coach Chapman. "This time it was players stepping in, and everyone stepping up."
The Corsairs head North on Saturday for a Little East encounter against the University of Southern Maine. The match is 1 p.m. at Gorham High School.