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Women's Tennis Trumps Lions In GNAC Tournament First Round, 5-1

Women's Tennis Trumps Lions In GNAC Tournament First Round, 5-1

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The fourth-seeded University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's tennis team took care of business at home and defeated the fifth-seeded Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) Lions, 5-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament First Round match Wednesday afternoon at the Elizabeth Ferry Speer Tennis Complex. With the victory, the Blue Jays improve to 6-6 overall on the season and advance to the GNAC Semifinals for the first time since 2016. They will travel and play first-seeded Colby-Sawyer College in the semifinals on Saturday in New London, N.H. at 1:00 p.m.

In front of their home crowd, which flocked to the Elizabeth Ferry Speer Tennis Complex on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, the Blue Jays came out of the gates focused and energized. The No. 2 Doubles duo of junior Elaina Griffiths (Guilford, Conn.) and sophomore Ananya Srivatsav (South Windsor, Conn.) made quick work in their match and didn't drop a single game, winning 8-0, to give USJ the early lead. The other two doubles matches were tightly contested. However, the tandem of sophomore Kathleen Gilland (Wethersfield, Conn.) and junior captain Emily Kerr (Portland, Conn.) were able to feed off the crowd and earn clutch points late to take their No. 1 Doubles match by a score of 8-6. No. 3 Doubles was decided by a tiebreaker and found ENC's junior Krista Signs (Mashpee, Mass.) and sophomore Mya Landry (Derry, N.H.) come out on top, 8-7 (7-3), to trim the deficit to 2-1 heading into singles action.

Needing just three points to decide the match, USJ didn't take its foot off the gas. Kerr, who has been stellar in singles matches all season, turned in a perfect match in the No. 2 position winning in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. Junior Julia Michaud (Bristol, Conn.), who has really come on strong at the end of the season for the Blue Jays, matched Kerr's flawless card and also won in perfect straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, in the No. 5 slot to put USJ just one point away from victory. That set up the game-clinching point by Griffiths at No. 3 Singles who downed her opponent, 6-1, 6-3, and sent the crowd and team into a frenzy.

ENC 1 | USJ 5

COACH QUOTE [Karen Piazza] "The team is thrilled to have won today! It was a great day all around with a lot of great performances under postseason pressure. They have practiced and played so hard all season and it paid off with a postseason victory this afternoon. We are looking forward to the semifinals on Saturday against Colby-Sawyer."

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) 8-0
3. Krista Signs/Mya Landry (ENC) def. Julia Michaud/Maria Porth (USJ) 8-7 (7-3)

1. Maria Busila (ENC) & Kathleen Gilland (USJ) 6-4, 1-3, unfinished
2. Emily Kerr (USJ) def. Jenna Schlosser (ENC) 6-0, 6-0
3. Elaina Griffiths (USJ) def. Kari Bollinger (ENC) 6-1, 6-3
4. Katie Cawthorne (ENC) & Ananya Srivatsav (USJ) 7-6 (7-3), unfinished
5. Julia Michaud (USJ) def. Krista Signs (ENC) 6-0, 6-0
6. Madison Rearick (ENC) & Jenna Griffith (USJ) 6-3, unfinished

USJ's postseason run continues as the fourth-seeded Blue Jays make their first appearance in the GNAC Semifinals since 2016 and will travel to take on the first-seeded Colby-Sawyer College Chargers at Kelsey Courts on Saturday, October 16. First serve is slated for 1:00 p.m.

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