WESTON, Mass. – The sixth-seeded University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's tennis team put it all on the line in the cold and clouds, but ultimately fell short in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament First Round, dropping a 5-0 decision to the third-seeded Regis College (RC) Pride, on the Regis Tennis Courts Wednesday afternoon.
With the win, the Pride improve to 9-2 and advance to the GNAC Semifinals and will face the second-seeded Eastern Nazarene College Lions on Saturday at the Winchester Indoor Tennis Center in Winchester, Mass. With the loss, the Blue Jays conclude the 2019 season 5-9.
The Pride took full control of the match after sweeping doubles competition. Junior Carly Donovan (Harwich, Mass.) and senior Ariana McCormack (Worcester, Mass.) were clicking on all cylinders in their 8-0 win in number one doubles. Sophomore Carolyn Callahan (Southington, Conn.) and freshman Marie Emerson (Killingworth, Conn.) once again made things difficult for the Pride, but couldn't quite keep up with sophomore Katelyn Mogelnicki (Wethersfield, Conn.) and junior Ginger Boodakian (Burlington, Mass.), who pulled away late to win, 8-3.
Number three doubles was the one to watch, as senior captain Domonique Carnot (Meriden, Conn.) and freshman Emily Kerr (Portland, Conn.) played a great match with sophomore Lauren Mogelnicki (Wethersfield, Conn.) and sophomore Kait Colby (Merrimac, Mass.). Back-and-forth action kept it a one-game set at 4-3, but like the previous match, the Pride seemed to have a little more down the stretch, completing the second straight 8-3 victory. It was 3-0 RC heading into singles play.
Just like matches have been played all year, the first team to five wins the overall, but in playoff competition, as soon as a team hits that fifth point, the match is called. The Pride only needed two to seal the deal, and tasting a trip to Winchester, Mass. and a spot in the GNAC Semifinals, they would do just that. Donovan stepped on the gas pedal to win in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) over sophomore Jessica McAllister (Bristol, Conn.), and McCormack dropped just one game to Carnot, who left it all out there in her final match as a Blue Jay. Freshmen Elaina Griffiths (Guilford, Conn.) and Elke Moser Melis (Nijmegen, Netherlands) also hung tough during their respective matches, making every game count.
USJ has lost in GNAC Tournament First Round two of the last three seasons, but improved in the win column by three games overall from 2018 to 2019. Tennis has made the GNAC Tournament overall three times in four years under head coach Karen Piazza, who praised her team for their relentless effort, even in defeat.
"Everybody played a little harder, a little tougher, but they've got some really good players on that team. Give credit to [Regis]," said Piazza in the post-match huddle, a huddle that ended with the chant, "Good Game Regis!".
USJ 0 | RC 5
1. Carly Donovan/Ariana McCormack (RC) def. Elaina Griffiths/Jessica McAllister (USJ) 8-0
2. Katelyn Mogelnicki /Ginger Boodakian (RC) def. Carolyn Callahan/Marie Emerson (USJ) 8-3
3. Lauren Mogelnicki /Kait Colby (RC) def. Domonique Carnot/Emily Kerr (USJ) 8-3
1. Carly Donovan (RC) def. Jessica McAllister (USJ) 6-0, 6-0
2. Ariana McCormack (RC) def. Domonique Carnot (USJ) 6-1, 6-0
3. Katelyn Mogelnicki (RC) vs. Emily Kerr (USJ) Unfinished
4. Elaina Griffiths (USJ) vs. Lauren Mogelnicki (RC) Unfinished
5. Carolyn Callahan (USJ) vs. Ginger Boodakian (RC) Unfinished
6. Kaeleigh FitzPatrick (RC) vs. Elke Moser Melis (USJ) Unfinished
The postseason loss ends the 2019 season for the Blue Jays, wrapping the year up with a 5-9 overall record, marking a three-win improvement from last season.
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