BEVERLY/MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as its No. 2 doubles team of freshman Kerry Magoon (Marshfield, Mass.) and sophomore Rosalie Kimba (Milford, Mass.) won the decisive match to power the fifth-seeded Corsairs to a 5-4 victory over fourth-seeded Salem State University in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Little East Conference Women's Tennis Championship.
UMass Dartmouth (7-7) will travel to top-seeded Plymouth State University (12-0) for the semifinal round. The date and time will be determined via a conference call tomorrow morning between the conference office and the remaining institutions. The Lady Vikings (6-6) earned home court advantage thanks to a 5-4 win at the Corsairs on Oct. 14.
Due to the inclement forecast, the quarterfinal round match was moved off-campus to the Bass Creek Indoor Tennis Club. Since the two clubs had a limited window of time to complete the match, the singles matches were conducted prior to the doubles competition.
With the match tied at 4-4, the drama intensified as the contest was temporarily halted because the reservation had elapsed. Following a short bus trip to the Manchester Athletic Club, the No. 2 doubles match resumed. The two teams battled to a 4-4 tie before the Corsairs took an advantage they would not relinquish, breaking Salem State's serve. UMass Dartmouth continued to ride the momentum of the service break as the visitors won the next three games, including the final frame on the racket of Magoon's serve for an 8-4 victory.
The Lady Vikings staked themselves to an early 1-0 lead as junior Jennifer Cleary (Swampscott, Mass.) defeated junior Maggie LeBrun (Mattapoisett, Mass.) at top-flight singles. Junior captain Kristen Rose (North Dartmouth, Mass.) quickly responded at No. 5 singles with a straight set, 6-2, 6-0 victory over senior Emily Yanchun (Saugus, Mass.).
The momentum swung in the hosts' favor as senior Lauren Woods (Burlington, Mass.) earned a 6-1, 6-4 decision over freshman Mollie McCaffrey (Taunton, Mass.) at No. 3 singles. Junior Hilary Gustafson (Belchertown, Mass.) rallied from one-set down to edge freshman Kheyla Orival (Woburn, Mass.) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Unfazed, the Corsairs countered by winning a pair of three-set matches. Magoon posted a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles, while Kimba needed approximately three hours to outlast her opponent, freshman Cassie Morrison (Clinton, Mass.), at sixth-flight singles, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
The Lady Vikings moved within one point of the match as Cleary and junior April McDermott (Tewksbury, Mass.) cruised to an 8-1 victory at top-flight doubles. UMass Dartmouth's third-flight tandem of McCaffrey and Rose (North Dartmouth, Mass.) provided the answer with an 8-6 win over Yanchun and Woods.