The last time the Johnson & Wales University women's tennis team won the GNAC, senior captain Morgan Thompson was just starting elementary school. Head coach Devin Kitterick was a budding freshman tennis player at Bridgewater-Raynham High School.
This Friday, the Wildcats play the first NCAA Tournament game in school history when they face off against Wilkes University. The match starts at 9 a.m. and is being hosted by Williams College. The winner draws the Ephs on Saturday.
Johnson & Wales started the season strong with a 9-0 win against Curry and rolled to eight-straight wins. During that run, they only dropped three games.
The last win in that run was a 9-0 victory against Simmons. Johnson & Wales hadn't beaten the Sharks since 2002, a streak of 21-straight losses. The win also snapped Simmons' streak of 77-consecutive wins over conference opponents and 60-straight regular season GNAC wins.
Johnson & Wales plowed through Saint Joseph in the semifinals of the GNAC Tournament on its way to a rematch with the Sharks. The postseason result was nearly the same as the regular season as the Wildcats rolled to a 5-1 victory and their fist GNAC crown since 2002. Freshman Nina Cohen (Guatemala City, Guatemala) was named GNAC Tournament MVP and the duo Luiza Silva Simoes (Cuiaba, Brazil) and Morgan Thompson (Fargo, ND) were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Wildcats cleaned up when it came time for postseason awards. Cohen was named GNAC Rookie of the Year and First-Team All-GNAC singles along with Thompson and Silva Simoes. Thompson and Silva Simoes also earned First-Team All-GNAC doubles honors. Sophomore Lauren Torre (New Fairfield, Conn.) was named Second-Team All-GNAC singles.
Johnson & Wales tuned up for the postseason with some tough matches. They lost 7-2 at Smith then were defeated 7-0 by Division I Holy Cross. JWU wrapped up the spring campaign with a 9-0 win at Clark.