Women's Tennis Advances To GNAC Semifinals With 5-4 Win Over Emmanuel

Women's Tennis Advances To GNAC Semifinals With 5-4 Win Over Emmanuel

The fifth seeded Johnson & Wales University women's team defeated the fourth seeded Emmanuel Saints, 5-4, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Quarterfinal match played on the courts at the Winsor School on Wednesday evening.  The Wildcats won two of the three doubles matches and three of the six singles matches en route to the 5-4 victory.

The Wildcats opened things up with an 8-3 win at first doubles, as sophomore Haley Nutter (Symmes Township, Ohio) and freshman Stephanie Roberti (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) teamed up to defeat Emmanuel sophomore Taylor Dey (Woodbridge, Conn.) and freshman Amanda Woznicki (Bristol, Conn.).  The Saints then picked up an 8-2 victory at second doubles, when senior captain Megan Harrington (Leicester, Mass.) and freshman Jenny Konecnik (Sparta, N.J.) topped the freshman/sophomore duo of Victoria Ricciardi (Binghamton, N.Y.) and Tammy Saunders (Lancaster, Pa.).

JWU earned a final 8-6 win in third doubles, when juniors Laura Schwenk (Ottumwa, Iowa) and Dana Trimborn (North Wales, Pa.) edged freshman Kate Biffinger (Avon, Conn.) and sophomore Jenna Reid (Lincoln, R.I.).  The Wildcats took a 2-1 match lead into singles play.

The two teams then split singles matches, with each team winning three. Emmanuel's Dey defeating Nutter, 6-2, 7-6 in No. 1 Singles. JWU's Roberti topped Harrington in No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-2.  Reid swept Ricciardi, 6-2, 6-3, while Konecnik cruised to a straight-set win over Saunders, 6-1, 6-0.  Emmanuel senior Alexandra Shakra (Bedford, N.H.) was shut out by Schwenk, 6-0, 6-0, and left the match tied at 4-4.

With eight matches complete and the score knotted at four-all, eyes turned to the deciding No. 6 singles battle. With the quarterfinal match nearing four hours in length, Woznicki jumped out to an early lead over Trimborn with a 6-3 win in the first set. Trimborn rebounded to take set two, 6-4.  The third set went to Trimborn, who battled back from a match point to win in a third-set tiebreaker, 7-6, and give the Wildcats a 5-4 victory.

Johnson & Wales is now 7-7 on the season and will advance to face top-seeded Simmons College in the GNAC Semifinals on Saturday afternoon, October 23rd at the Windsor Courts.