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USJ Earns Pivotal Senior Day Win, Will Host GNAC Playoff Match

USJ Earns Pivotal Senior Day Win, Will Host GNAC Playoff Match

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Women's Tennis team put themselves in a very good position Saturday, as they defeated the Lions of Eastern Nazarene College (ENC), 6-3, on senior day in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) match at the Elizabeth Ferry Speer Tennis Complex. With the victory, USJ has clinched the four seed in the 2021 GNAC Women's Tennis Postseason Tournament. They have also earned the right to host a first round playoff matchup next week.

Prior to the start of the match, Blue Jays Head Coach Karen Piazza celebrated the lone senior for USJ this season, senior Maria Porth (West Hartford, Conn.) with a brief introduction and photo. Joining Porth, Piazza and her staff included USJ Athletic Director Amanda Devitt, who presented Porth with a customary framed action shot during her time on the court.

The Blue Jays got off to a great start once again, taking #1 and #2 Doubles to take a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Kathleen Gilland (Wethersfield, Conn.) and junior captain Emily Kerr (Portland, Conn.) won a tight one in the first match, while junior Elaina Griffiths (Guilford, Conn.) and sophomore Ananya Srivatsav (South Windsor, Conn.) dominated in an 8-1 doubles win.

In singles, the Lions fought back with quality wins at #1 and #4 Singles, but were tripped up by the Blue Jays the rest of the way. Kerr continued her unshakeable stretch, having won five consecutive matches (two doubles and three singles) dating back to October 2. She was lights-out in #2 Singles with a clean sweep. Griffiths won at #3 Singles, while junior Julia Michaud (Bristol, Conn.) and freshman Jenna Griffith (Higganum, Conn.) also picked up victories. Griffith went down to the wire with a third-set tiebreaker, and found a way to prevail, 11-9.

ENC 3 | USJ 6

COACH QUOTE [Karen Piazza] "Excellent performance today especially doubles. I am really glad we get another chance to play [Eastern Nazarene] in the postseason. It was such a good match all the way around. I am really proud of my team. They came through, and it is important to have the home-court advantage [for the playoffs]. For most of the team it will be their first playoff match, and because we will be playing [Eastern Nazarene], we can work on who lost, what to do, and hopefully we can improve on that."

1. Kathleen Gilland/Emily Kerr (USJ) def. Maria Busila/Katie Cawthorne (ENC) 8-6
2. Elaina Griffiths/Ananya Srivatsav (USJ) def. Jenna Schlosser/Kari Bollinger (ENC) 8-1
3. Krista Signs/Mya Landry (ENC) def. Julia Michaud/Maria Porth (USJ) 8-6

1. Maria Busila (ENC) def. Kathleen Gilland (USJ) 6-1, 6-0
2. Emily Kerr (USJ) def. Jenna Schlosser (ENC) 6-0, 6-0
3. Elaina Griffiths (USJ) def. Kari Bollinger (ENC) 6-2, 6-3
4. Katie Cawthorne (ENC) def. Ananya Srivatsav (USJ) 6-0, 6-4
5. Julia Michaud (USJ) def. Krista Signs (ENC) 6-2, 6-0
6. Jenna Griffith (USJ) def. Madison Rearick (ENC) 6-4, 0-6, 1-0 (11-9 Tiebreaker)

The Blue Jays will conclude the regular season with a non-conference match against fellow in-state school, Western Connecticut State University. That match will be played on Monday, October 11 at 4:00 p.m. at WestConn. USJ has clinched the four-spot in the upcoming GNAC Tournament and will host a first round match later this week.

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