DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The second-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's tennis team battled with No. 3 seed Bridgewater State University, dropping the Little East Conference semifinal meeting with the reigning conference champions by a 5-4 final on Thursday afternoon.
Score: #3 Bridgewater State 5, #2 UMass Dartmouth 4
Records: UMass Dartmouth (10-4, 6-2 LEC) | Bridgewater State (11-5, 6-2 LEC)
How It Happened
UMass Dartmouth took an early 2-1 lead after doubles with the pairings of Kerry Magoon (Marshfield, Mass.) and Molina Oung (Bourne, Mass.) and Jenna Lahaie (Lakeville, Mass.) and Jaime Fastino (Rehoboth, Mass.) taking back-to-back games. The lone loss came at the end of doubles, when Bridgewater State's Bojana Roman (Somerset, Mass.) and Alison Scagnelli (Sutton, Mass.) topped Mollie McCaffrey (Taunton, Mass.) and Jillian Reichert (Marion, Mass.).
The teams jostled for control of the match to open singles, and the Bears drew the score even with Roman taking the No. 2 match in straight sets against Magoon. Lahaie then bumped the Corsairs narrowly back in front, defeating Alisha Silva (Taunton, Mass.) in a 7-6 first set before a resounding 6-0 second at the top flight.
Sophomore Fastino came back strong at No. 4, putting her team just one point away from the match victory, downing Amanda Strickland (Plymouth, Mass.) by a 6-4 score in set one, before shutting her out in the second set.
With backs to the wall, the visitors again battled back even, winning consecutive matches when freshman Olivia Sweeny (Taunton, Mass.) defeated Oung in straight sets at No. 5 to give her the first blemish on her singles record.
The winning trend continued for the Bears when Scagnelli swept McCaffrey in a pair of 6-4 sets, tying the match at four apiece creating a winner-take-all scenario in the final match. BSU junior Rachel Tarantino (Mansfield, Mass.) pushed Corsair senior captain Samantha Rollings (Tiverton, R.I.) to the brink at No. 6, needing three sets to give the Bears their second-consecutive trip to the LEC championship game.
Inside the Numbers
- Oung saw her season unbeaten streak snapped in singles, losing just her second game in 24 appearances dating back to her junior year.
- Tarantino handed UMass Dartmouth its first loss of the season at the No. 6 flight, where three Corsairs (Oung, freshman Michelle Aftandilian (Watertown, Mass.) and sophomore Melanie Wong (Somerset, Mass.)) had previously sported a 14-0 record.
- Bridgewater State avenged a Sept. 26 loss to the Corsairs, which also ended in the 5-4 final.
Bridgewater State moves on to the LEC championship where it will take on the undefeated top seed Rhode Island College this coming Saturday in Providence, R.I. UMass Dartmouth closes the season at 10-4 overall, achieving 10 wins for the fourth time in the past five seasons.