BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Under the bright lights at the USTA Tennis Center in New York City, the UMass women's tennis team won its second-straight dual match on Friday, as they defeated Long Island, 5-1. It was the first road victory of the spring season for the Minutewomen, who are now 2-1 in dual matches after knocking off the defending Northeast Conference Champions.
The Blackbirds came out playing strong to start today, earning the doubles point by taking two out of the three matches from UMass. Reigning NEC Player of the Year Selma Babic and her partner Aleksandra Pavlovic took a win in first doubles, but not before being taken into a tiebreaker by Candynce Boney and Maude Lecluyse, taking the match 9-8 (7-5). Linn Sjogren and Taysha Bessington clinched the point for LIU, defeating Julia Comas and Magdalena Ploch, 8-5. The Minutewomen would win one match, as Tanisha Hodgson and Jocelyn Providence continued to dominate in third doubles, winning their third-straight match by defeating Stephanie Elie and Dara Lahens, 8-4.
"After losing the doubles point, the team knew we had to get off to a great start in singles play," said head coach Judy Dixon.
And the Minutewomen did just that, taking the first set in all six singles matches, including four by scores of 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 and 6-3. An impressive start for UMass would not be wasted, with singles players two through six picking up victories.
Comas got the squad started with a strong performance, defeating Sjogren, 6-0, 6-2. Boney would follow that up in third singles, also cruising to a 6-1, 6-4 win over Pavlovic. Kaitlyn Carpenter and Providence would also go on to victories in fifth and sixth singles respectively.
Lecluyse, the captain and lone senior, played a very hard-fought match with Blessington in third singles. The Montreal, Canada native was able to win a very big first set, 7-5, before sweeping the match with a 6-4 victory in the second set. Ploch and Babic ended their match undecided in first singles. Ploch, a sophomore, took the first set from the 2009 NEC Player of the Year, 7-5, before the match was stopped in the second set with the two tied at two games apiece.
"I was very happy with how the girls responded in singles play. We beat a very good team today. We're looking forward to having the rest of the weekend off before preparing for St. John's next Saturday at home."
The Minutewomen will host the Red Storm of St. John's next Saturday at the Bay Road Tennis Club in Amherst.