NEWPORT, R.I. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's tennis team opened its season at the 30th Grass Court Doubles Championships on the lawns of the Newport Casino at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. For the Corsairs, six players made their college tennis debuts at America's most historic tennis venue.
The results were mixed at best, but the experience was both memorable and invaluable for the young Corsairs, who placed sixth.
UMass Dartmouth lost all four first round matches it played in the three flights, with all of the opponents eventually reaching the finals. The Corsairs fared better in the consolation rounds, winning two of three matches.
Junior Maggie LeBrun (Mattapoisett, Mass.) and freshman Mollie McCaffrey (Taunton, Mass.) split a pair of matches before dropping the Flight A Consolation Final to Hayley Perron and Melissa Flynn of Bridgewater State, 8-4.
Co-captain Casey Auman (Dartmouth, Mass.) and sophomore Jillian Reichert (Marion, Mass.) lost 8-4 to a Holy Cross, a NCAA Division 1 team, before beating Courtney Bailey and Taylor Amendola of host Salve Regina, 8-5. They lost the consolation final to Nichols College, 8-2.
Freshman Kheyla Orival (Woburn, Mass.) and junior co-captain Kristen Rose (North Dartmouth, Mass.) were locked in a pair of competitive matches, but came up on the short end of both, against teams from Nichols and Salve Regina.
"It was our first event of the season," said Corsairs head coach Doug Chapman. "For the other teams, they had already played three or four matches. So we had to overcome our first-match jitters and deal with the novelty of playing on grass at the same time. We will be a better team for the experience."
UMD received an added bonus because Johnson & Wales withdrew, after the tournament was delayed one day due to weather considerations. The Corsairs got to add a fourth doubles pair into the tournament, and that became a fifth team in the consolation round.
Freshman Kerry Magoon (Marshfield, Mass.) and sophomore Rosalie Kimba (Milford, Mass.), who reached last year's Flight C final with Auman, got to play an opening round match in Flight A against the second seeded pair of Alanna Judd and Lauren Candia from Nichols College.
"It was terrific that we got 10 players into the tournament," said Chapman. "That was an added bonus."
Colby-Sawyer was awarded the team championship after a three-way tie for first place. The Chargers finished with 12 points, as did Holy Cross and Nichols. The three-way tie was broken by head-to-head records among those three schools. Each had won a flight championship, with the Chargers holding a 3-2 mark against the other two and Holy Cross defeated Nichols in its only head-to-head meeting.
The Corsairs open their home and regular season on Monday, hosting Wentworth at 3:30 p.m. at the UMD Tennis Courts.
30th GRASS COURT DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hosted by Salve Regina University
International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, Rhode Island
UMASS DARTMOUTH RESULTS
Quarterfinal – Maggie LeBrun/Mollie McCaffrey l. Ashlyn Ramsay/Ashley Woodside (Colby-Sawyer), 1-8
Consolation SF – LeBrun/McCaffrey d. Nicole Nault/Charlemya Erasme (UMD), 8-2
Consolation F – LeBrun/McCaffrey l. Hayley Perron/Melissa Flynn (Bridgewater State), 4-8
Quarterfinal – Kerry Magoon/Rosalie Kimba l. Alanna Judd/Lauren Candia (Nichols), 0-8
Consolation SF – Nicole Nault/Charlemya Erasme l. LeBrun/McCaffrey (UMD), 2-8.
Quarterfinal – Casey Auman/Jillian Reichert l. Abby Henry/Katherine Elia (Holy Cross), 4-8.
Consolation SF – Auman/Reichert d. Courtney Bailey/Taylor Amendola (Salve Regina), 8-5.
Consolation F – Auman/Reichert l. Lindsay Benoit/Cristina Szepanski (Nichols), 3-8.
Quarterfinal- Kheyla Orival/Kristen Rose l. Daniela Saldarriaga/Ashley Dallaire (Nichols), 3-8.
Consolation SF – Orival/Rose l. Liz DiFilippo/Meg Olson (Salve Regina), 6-8.
1. Colby-Sawyer, 12 (Champions)
Holy Cross, 12 (Runners up)
Nichols College, 12
4. Bridgewater State, 6
5. Salve Regina, 4
6.UMass Dartmouth, 2
7. Curry, 2
8. Johnson & Wales, wd