NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Top-seeded Rhode Island College captured the 2017 Little East Conference Women's Tennis Championship following a 5-1 victory over third-seeded Bridgewater State University Saturday at the RIC Tennis Center, and with it the LEC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
FOR THE RECORD: The Anchorwomen improved to 16-0 for the season, setting a program record for wins. The Bears, who fell short in their bid for a second consecutive LEC title, saw their record fall to 12-6.
RIC'S REILLY NAMED TOURNAMENT MOP: Senior Dayna Reilly (Swansea, Mass.) was named the 2017 LEC Championship Tournament Most Outstanding Player after posting a perfect 4-0 combined record at No. 1 singles and at No. 1 doubles alongside freshman Laurel Ten Eyck (Warwick, R.I.).
- This was a rematch of last year's LEC championship, which Bridgewater State won 5-4.
- This is the Anchorwomen's seventh LEC title overall and their first since 2005.
- RIC was playing in the tournament final for the fourth time in five years
- The Bears were in the conference final for the 10th time in 11 years
- This was the final match of the fall portion of the season; the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament will be contested at the end of the spring semester.
HOW IT HAPPENED: RIC led 2-1 following doubles play before taking each of the first three singles matches to finish to win the title. The No. 1 doubles pairing of Reilly and Ten Eyck were 8-2 winners over seniors Alisha Silva (Taunton, Mass.) and Amanda Strickland (Plymouth, Mass.), and the No. 3 pairing of freshmen Grace Zangari (Saunderstown, R.I.) and Victoria Vittori (New Bedford, Mass.) were 8-4 winners over junior Rachel Tarantino (Mansfield, Mass.) and sophomore Angelique Gray (Osterville, Mass.).
Reilly then defeated Silva 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles to give the Anchorwomen a 3-1 lead in the match, which grew to 4-1 following Zangari's 7-5, 6-1 win over Roman at No. 2 singles. The match was then decided at No. 5 singles, where freshman Hailey Raskob (North Smithfield, R.I.) was victorious over freshman Olivia Sweeney (Taunton, Mass.) 6-3, 6-4.
Seniors Bojana Roman (Somerset , Mass.) and Alison Scagnelli (Sutton, Mass.) defeated junior Katherine Braganca (Pawtucket , R.I.) and freshman Emily Orticerio (Smithfield, R.I.) 8-4 at No. 2 doubles for Bridgewater State's lone point of the match. The Bears held the advantage in the three singles matches that were unfinished.
1. Dayna Reilly/Laurel Ten Eyck (RICWT) def. Alisha Silva/Amanda Strickland (BSU) 8-2
2. Bojana Roman/Alison Scagnelli (BSU) def. Katherine Braganca/Emily Orticerio (RICWT) 8-4
3. Grace Zangari/Victoria Vittori (RICWT) def. Rachel Tarantino/Angelique Gray (BSU) 8-4
1. Dayna Reilly (RICWT) def. Alisha Silva (BSU) 6-1, 6-0
2. Grace Zangari (RICWT) def. Bojana Roman (BSU) 7-5, 6-1
3. Katherine Braganca (RICWT) vs. Alison Scagnelli (BSU) 3-6, 3-2, unfinished
4. Laura Nastasi (RICWT) vs. Amanda Strickland (BSU) 1-6, 4-3, unfinished
5. Hailey Raskob (RICWT) def. Olivia Sweeney (BSU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Laurel Ten Eyck (RICWT) vs. Rachel Tarantino (BSU) 4-6, 3-5, unfinished