WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's tennis team made an early-season statement with a commanding, 8-1, victory in an exhibition contest with Eastern Nazarene College (ENC), on a warm Wednesday afternoon at the Elizabeth Ferry Speer Tennis Complex.
539 days had passed since the last USJ tennis match (about a year and a half), a GNAC quarterfinal contest at Regis College in October of 2019. Saint Joseph wasted no time getting into a groove despite the record-breaking gap though.
Wednesday's win also marked the first-ever collegiate match held at the brand-new Elizabeth Ferry Speer Tennis Complex. The Blue Jays basked in the sun, their shoes screeching left and right on the biscayne blue and oasis blue courts, as they capitalized on a series of volleys across seven matches en route to victory.
The Blue Jays held a 2-0 lead off the top, after a doubles and singles default by ENC to start the match. USJ went on to maintain the lead throughout, sweeping both doubles matches with 8-4 and 8-5 wins for the duos of freshman Kathleen Gilland (Wethersfield, Conn.) / sophomore Emily Kerr (Portland, Conn.), and junior captain Carolyn Callahan (Southington, Conn.) / freshman Ananya Srivatsav (South Windsor, Conn.). The sweep gave USJ more than enough breathing room to quickly clinch the overall in number two singles, as Kerr dominated in a 6-0, 6-0 shutout.
ENC 1 | USJ 8
COACH QUOTE [Karen Piazza]
"It feels great to finally play on these new courts after a year and a half. The girls have been practicing hard since February. I was really glad everybody came through and stuck with it, both mentally and physically. I am really proud of our doubles, both of them went up pretty good. We have been really working hard on doubles, so it means a lot. Another tough match ahead with [Albertus Magnus]. Sometimes [the girls] just have to stick to their own game, instead of playing their opponents game, so we have been working on that a little more in practice."
1. Kathleen Gilland / Emily Kerr (USJ) def. Maria Busila / Jenna Schlosser (ENC), 8-4
2. Carolyn Callahan / Ananya Srivatsav (USJ) def. Kari Bollinger / Mary Boucher (ENC), 8-5
3. Emily Rhee / Julia Michaud (USJ) def. No Players (ENC) Default
1. Maria Busila (ENC) def. Kathleen Gilland (USJ) 6-2, 6-0
2. Emily Kerr (USJ) def. Jenna Schlosser (ENC) 6-0, 6-0
3. Carolyn Callahan (USJ) def. Mary Boucher (ENC) 6-1, 6-3
4. Ananya Srivatsav (USJ) def Kari Bollinger (ENC) 6-3, 6-2
5. Emily Rhee (USJ) def. Krista Signs (ENC) 6-1, 6-0
6. Julia Michaud (USJ) def. No Player (ENC) Default
The USJ women's tennis team will be back in action next on Saturday, April 17, in a head-to-head match with fellow Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and intrastate rival, Albertus Magnus College. First serve is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.
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