NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph tennis team closed the regular season in thrilling fashion as they swept the Albertus Magnus Falcons, 9-0, on the road at Celentano Courts on Saturday afternoon. With the win the Blue Jays finish the regular season at 6-7 overall and 3-3 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play. The win also secures the Blue Jays a home game in the first round of the 2016 GNAC Tennis Tournament as they will be the #4 seed and host Albertus Magnus (4-6, 2-4 GNAC), the #5 seed, on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.
USJ got off to a hot start on Saturday and never looked back as they took down the Falcons 9-0. The Blue Jays claimed three victories in doubles action to jump out to an early lead. Freshman Domonique Carnot (Meriden, CT/Maloney) and sophomore Leah Nguyen (West Hartford, CT/Conard) breezed to an 8-1 eight-game pro-set victory to start things off at No. 3 doubles. Sophomore Sakinah Abdusalam (Bristol, CT/Bristol Eastern) and classmate Ashley Savino (Old Saybrook, CT/Old Saybrook) followed with an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles, before senior Rebecca Mauri (Meriden, CT/Platt) and sophomore Lucy Roberge (Willington, CT/E.O. Smith) closed out doubles play with an 8-5 victory at No. 1 doubles.
In singles, the Blue Jays picked up right where they left off and also won a couple of hard fought matches for the sweep and to secure the first round playoff home match. Junior Tara Smith (Palmer, MA/Palmer) grabbed the first singles point for USJ with a 6-2, 6-0 dominating effort at No. 5 singles and then Carnot gaurenteed the victory and put the visitors up 5-0 with a 7-5, 6-0 win at No. 6 singles.
Roberge, Mauri, Abdusalam and Savino concluded the sweep by winning all of their matches, but they each needed three sets to do so. Roberge came from behind and registered a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory at No. 2 singles. Mauri won her first set 6-3 at No. 1 singles before dropping the second 5-7 and then won the third set tiebreaker 10-7 for the victory. At No. 3 singles, Abdusalam won a tight 7-6 opening set, dropped the second 4-6 and then won the tiebreaker 10-7. Savino wrapped up the day with a 6-1, 5-7, 10-4 victory at No. 4 singles.
The USJ tennis team will continue its season on Wednesday, Oct. 19 when they host the Falcons on the USJ Tennis Courts in the First Round of the 2016 GNAC Tennis Tournament. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m. and the winner will advance to the semifinals to be played on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Winchester Tennis Center in Winchester, MA.