WINCHESTER, Mass – Last season the Johnson & Wales University women's tennis team felt the sting of losing in the GNAC Championship match. An influx of new players and strong leadership from senior Morgan Thompson turned the Wildcats into champions as they defeated Simmons, 5-1, on Sunday.
It's the first GNAC title for the Wildcats since the 2002 season when JWU won three-straight titles. Johnson & Wales receives the conference's automatic qualification for the NCAA Tournament that will be held in May.
As has been the case for most of the season, Johnson & Wales set the tone in doubles. Thompson (Fargo, ND) and Luiza Silva Simoes (Cuiaba, Brazil) got the first point with an 8-2 triumph at number one. Next off the court was Nina Cohen (Guatemala City, Guatemala) and Delaney Macchirole (Greenport, NY) at number two as they rolled to an 8-3 victory. Simmons cut the margin in half by taking number three doubles, 9-8 (3).
The freshmen duo of Silva Simoes and Cohen put the Wildcats one point away from the championship with singles triumphs. Silva Simoes was a 6-1, 6-0 winner at number three over Marissa Johnson. Cohen took down Nickie Nguyen, 6-0, 6-2 at number two. Bringing home the title was Macchirole – who had only played one singles match in the last month – with the 6-2, 6-4 win at number five.
Three Wildcats earned all-tournament honors. Cohen was named GNAC Tournament MVP while Silva Simoes and Thompson were named to the all-tournament team.
Johnson & Wales University 5, Simmons College 1
Winchester, Mass. (Winchester Indoor Lawn Tennis Center)
1. Jessica Schroedl (SIM) vs. Morgan Thompson (JWU) 4-6, 5-5, unfinished
2. Nina Cohen (JWU) def. Nickie Nguyen (SIM) 6-0, 6-2
3. Luiza Silva Simoes (JWU) def. Marissa Johnson (SIM) 6-1, 6-0
4. Olivia Lakes (SIM) vs. Lauren Torre (JWU), 6-2, 4-2, unfinished
5. Delaney Macchirole (JWU) def. Mai Driesen (SIM) 6-2, 6-4
6. Michelle Medici (SIM) vs. Madison Hernandez (JWU) 6-1, 4-3, unfinished
1. Morgan Thompson/Luiza Silva Simoes (JWU) def. Jessica Schroedl/Olivia Lakes (SIM) 8-2
2. Nina Cohen/Delaney Macchirole (JWU) def. Marissa Johnson/Nickie Nguyen (SIM) 8-3
3. Mai Driesen/Mary Matthews (SIM) def. Madison Hernandez/Holly Olson (JWU) 9-8 (7-3)
Simmons College 7-6
Johnson & Wales University 13-2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,2, 5)