Corsairs Top Beacons In Little East Quarterfinals

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's tennis team swept the three doubles matches en route to a 5-2 victory Tuesday over UMass Boston in a Little East Conference Tournament quarterfinal match at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex Tennis Courts.

With the victory, the #3 seeded Corsairs (10-3) advance to Thursday's semifinal match at #2 seed Rhode Island College (13-2) starting at 2:30 p.m.  The loss completed the season for the #6 seeded Beacons (6-10).

When UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston met during the regular season 24 days ago, the Corsairs needed to overcome a 3-1 deficit before winning, 5-4. The Beacons had won two of the three doubles matches and the first singles match to be completed. But that was then, and the tournament match offered a completely difference scenario.

This time, the Corsairs won all three doubles matches to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the singles matches.

"We had a game plan for the doubles and the players did a fantastic job of executing it," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Doug Chapman. "We knew after winning all three doubles points that it was only a matter of time if we stuck to taking care of business. We only needed to win two of the six singles matches, and we had won four of them very convincingly in the first meeting."

Senior Liz Cignoli (Springfield, Mass.) and freshman Rosalie Kimba (Milford, Mass.) got the Corsairs on the scoreboard with a 8-3 victory over sophomore Logan Smith (Southwick, Mass.) and freshman Kelsey Shea (West Bridgewater, Mass.). Then came the turn-around results at first and second doubles.

Senior Nicole Pelletier (Swansea, Mass.) and junior Hannah Schulze (Chelmsford, Mass.) broke open a tight match by winning five straight games to defeat seniors Anitra Kloczewiak (Newton, Mass.) and Samantha Counts (Bridgewater, Mass.), 8-4. It was the Corsairs seventh consecutive victory in the first doubles flight since they last played the Beacons.

UMass Dartmouth seniors Angela Pollard (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Allison Furtado (Fairhaven, Mass.) also turned the tables in second doubles, defeating freshman Nuha Muntasser (Braintree, Mass.) and sophomore Solveig Castelli (Precojo, France), 8-6. The Corsairs had match points ant 7-4 and 7-5 before finally putting away the Beacons duo.

UMass Boston, which had won at first and second singles in the first meeting, pulled to within 3-2 with a pair of victories in the top two spots. Muntasser defeated Pelletier 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 and Kloczewiak beat Schulze 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2. Kloczewiak completed her career as the Beacons all-time leader in singles (34) and total victories (71) by wide margins.

Pollard added a victory at No. 3 singles to her doubles win, defeating Counts 6-1, 6-1 and pulling the Corsairs to within one point of clinching the team victory.

It became a race to see who would get the final point neeeded as the tournament match was being played to decision. Freshman Katelyn Capone (Abington, Mass.) clinched the victory and a spot in the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Shea at No. 6 doubles. Furtado (6-2, 5-2) at No. 4 singles and senior Casey Auman (North Dartmouth, Mass.) (6-3, 5-3) were both within one-game of winning their individual matches when the team match was called to halt.

"It was a solid all-around effort," said Coach Chapman. "The hard work that went into sweeping the doubles made it much easier for us in the singles."

For complete information on the Little East Conference Women's Tennis Tournament, go to www.littleeast.com.