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No. 1 Rhode Island College and No. 2 Plymouth State to Meet for LEC Women’s Tennis Title Following Semifinal Round Wins

2018 women's tennis semifinals

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The top-two seeded teams in the 2018 Little Eats Conference Women's Tennis Championship Tournament will meet for in the league title match after top-seeded Rhode Island College and second-seeded Plymouth State University recorded semifinal round victories Friday at RIC. Both matches were decided at No. 6 singles.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Plymouth State won the only LEC tournament final match between the two teams, earning a 5-2 win to claim the 2014 conference title. The Panthers were the No. 1 seed that year, while the Anchorwomen were the No. 2 seed. RIC, the defending LEC tournament champ, is in search of its conference-record eight league title, while the Panthers will attempt to take home their fourth conference championship.

LAST TIME THEY MET: Rhode Island College won the regular season meeting at Plymouth State by a final count of 7-2 back on September 8.

No. 2 Plymouth State 5, No. 3 Salem State 4 – Box Score 

FOR THE RECORD: The Panthers improved to 12-2 overall with the victory, and will play for the conference title for the first time since winning the 2014 tournament crown. The Vikings wrapped up their season at 9-6.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Vikings took two of the three doubles matches in the first contest of the day. Junior Anastasia Startseva (Volgograd, Russia) and sophomore Caroline Robitalle (South Hadley, Mass.) were 9-7 winners over sophomores Maggie McCarthy (Marion, Mass.) and Sage Winter (New Castle, N.H.) at first doubles, while senior Maddie Madeline Allaire (Columbus, Ohio) and junior Meredith Macdonald (Lynn, Mass.) posted an 8-4 victory versus the tandem of seniors Irene Kigugu (Concord, N.H.) and Megan Wheeler (Manchester, N.H.) at second doubles.

Plymouth State's third doubles pair of sophomores Jenna Sundquist (Monument Beach, Mass.) and Kerstin Venincasa (Sutton, Mass.) defeated senior Kristin Klimowicz (Ipswich, Mass) and sophomore Hannah Dahrouge (South Hadley, Mass.) to claim the first point of the day. Sundquist went on to take down Macdonald at fourth singles by a count of 6-3, 6-2, and Venincasa later defeated Klimowicz at fifth singles 6-2, 6-2 to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead in the match.

That lead grew to 4-2 after Kigugu notched a 6-2, 6-3 third singles win over Robitalle before Salem State tied the match following wins at first and second singles by Startseva (6-2, 6-4) and Allaire (6-4, 6-2), respectively. That put all eyes on the sixth singles bout between Wheeler and Dahrouge, which saw Wheeler victorious by scores of 6-3 and 6-2 to send Plymouth State to the tournament final.

No. 1 Rhode Island College 5, No. 4 UMass Dartmouth 2 – Box Score

FOR THE RECORD: Rhode Island College remained undefeated for the season with the triumph, improving to 16-0 as it advanced to the LEC final for the fifth time in six years. UMass Dartmouth fell to 11-5 with the loss.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Anchorwomen won two of the three doubles matches before coming out on top in three of the four singles matches that played to completion to defeated the Corsairs for the second time this season. Sophomore Laurel Ten Eyck (Warwick, R.I.) won the deciding point at No. 6 singles, beating fellow sophomore Emma Sokolovsky (Canton, Mass.) 6-4, 6-0.

The first point of the day went to UMass Dartmouth's top doubles pairing of senior Jenna Lahaie (Lakeville, Mass.) and junior Jaime Fastino (Rehoboth, Mass.), who defeated senior Katherine Braganca (Pawtucket, R.I.) and Ten Eyck 8-4. RIC took the remaining doubles matches as its No. 2 pairing of sophomores Hailey Raskob (North Smithfield, R.I.) and Grace Zangari (Saunderstown, R.I.) downed juniors Monika Reining (Linsengericht, Germany) and Natasha Shiku (North Grafton, Mass.), 8-6, and the No. 3 duo of sophomores Serena Bobola (Cranston, R.I.) and Emily Orticerio (Smithfield, R.I.) defeated sophomores Michelle Aftandilian (Watertown, Mass.) and Jordan Martin (Taunton, Mass.), 8-4.

The Anchorwomen received singles wins from Raskob and freshman Clara Siegmund (Pomfret, Conn.) before Ten Eyck notched the fifth and deciding point. Rascob defeated Michelle Aftandilian 6-1, 6-0, while Siegmund was a 6-2, 6-1 victor against sophomore Rachel Aftandilian (Watertown, Mass.). UMass Dartmouth's lone singles point came from the top of the order as Lahaie cruised past Zangari 6-1, 6-1.