PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Senior co-captain Kristen Rose (North Dartmouth, MA) won the deciding match at No. 4 singles to lead fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth to a 5-4 win over top-seeded Rhode Island College in a semifinal match of the 2015 Little East Conference Women's Tennis Tournament on Thursday at the RIC Tennis Courts.
The Corsairs (10-6) advance to face second-seeded Bridgewater State in the Championship Match on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. UMass Dartmouth trailed 2-1 after the doubles and were down 4-2 when they rallied to win the three remaining matches to take the decision.
The loss ends the Anchorwomen's (12-3) season. RIC had been unbeaten in the LEC (8-0) and had previously beaten UMass Dartmouth, 6-3, in the squads' regular season meeting on Sept. 22.
Rose improved to 14-1 at No. 1 singles, avenging her only loss of the season with her match-clinching 6-4, 6-4 victory over senior Tessa Cannata (Cranston, RI). The match featured marathon rallies and very steady play from both competitors.
Trailing, 4-2, UMass Dartmouth tied the score on sophomore Mollie McCaffrey's 6-1, 6-4 victory over Laura Nastasi (Smithville, NJ) at No. 5 singles and senior co-captain Maggie LeBrun's (Mattapoisett, MA) clutch three-set victory over junior Julie Reddy (Smithfield, RI) at No. 3 singles. LeBrun dropped the first set 2-6 before rallying to a 7-5, 6-1 victory. Reddy had entered the match with a 40-2 career singles record in her college career.
RIC got off to a fast start in the doubles. Sophomore Dayna Reilly (Swansea, MA) and Reddy defeated freshman Jenna Lahaie (Lakeville, MA) and LeBrun, 8-4, at No. 1 doubles. RIC senior Sadie Campanella (Chepachet, RI) and junior Jorgie Martin (Greenville, RI) were 8-2 winners over UMD sophomores Kerry Magoon (Marshfield, MA) and Kheyla Orival (Woburn, MA) at No. 2 doubles.
Rose and McCaffrey earned a crucial point for the Corsairs at No. 3 doubles, topping Cannata and Nastasi, 8-4.
Campanella extended RIC's lead to 3-1 with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Magoon at No. 2 singles. Corsair sophomore Samantha Rollings (Tiverton, R.I.) defeated Martin 6-3, 6-1 at No. 6 singles. Reilly put the Anchorwomen on top 4-2, with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Lahaie at No. 1 singles.
That set the stage for the Corsairs, with McCaffrey, LeBrun and Rose completing the great comeback with three straight victories.
The Corsairs will meet the Bears at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Rosen Memorial Tennis Courts in Bridgewater, Mass. UMD is seeking to avenge a hard-fought 5-4 regular season loss to BSU on Oct. 6.