PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Western Connecticut State University, despite a pair of victories by graduate student Carole Allers (Wilton, CT), dropped a 5-2 decision in the opening round of the Little East Conference (LEC) women's tennis tournament at the Holderness School Courts on Tuesday afternoon.
Allers and Emma Chapman (Danbury, Conn.) scored an 8-4 victory at top-flight doubles over junior Maggie McCarthy (Marion, Mass.) and freshman Megan Marshall (Dartmouth, Mass.). Later in singles, Allers gained the team's other point at second-flight solos, 6-2, 6-1 over Kira Winter.
With the win the Panthers improve to 10-5 and advance to face second-seeded UMass Boston in the semifinal round on Thursday (Oct. 17). WestConn ends its season with a 5-10 mark.
Junior Kerstin Venincasa (Sutton, Mass.) and freshman Hanna Street (New Castle, N.H.) each won twice to spark the third-seeded Panthers.
PSU took a 2-1 lead through the completion of doubles play and the Panthers added two quick points in singles action to push the lead to 4-1. WestConn cut into the margin with a win at No. 2 singles, but Street was able to hold off her opponent to wrap up the win.
Street and freshman Kira Winter (Eliot, Maine) cruised past junior Lesley Coronel (Danbury, Conn.) and freshman Arianna Ragoo (Danbury, Conn.) to take No. 3 doubles by an 8-0 margin.
Venincasa and junior Jenna Sundquist (Monument Beach, Mass.) outlasted WestConn senior Pooja Dudhedia (Brookfield, Conn.) and freshman Sarah Silva (Brookfield, Conn.), 8-6, in a highly contested match at No. 2 doubles to put PSU ahead 2-1.
Venincasa coasted at No. 4 singes, with a quick 6-0, 6-1 win, while Marshall topped Coronel in straight sets (6-2, 6-2) to push the Panthers' advantage to 4-1.
Street was able to fend off a rally from Silva at No. 5 (6-2, 6-4) to wrap up the match.
"I'm very proud of our teams accomplishments this season. It's been many years since making the playoffs and this was our goal this season," stated WestConn head coach Shawn Stillman. "Additionally, this match today was so much closer than the score indicates. We were right in it. The ladies were ready and they fought hard."
WestConn last appeared in the LEC Tournament back in 2010, as the fourth seed. That was the season after the Colonials won the regular-season title and the post-season tournament and made the program's only NCAA Tournament appearance.