November 19, 2013

Capone, Pelletier, Schulze Earn All-LEC Honors

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's tennis team placed three players on The Little East All-Conference First Team. Freshman Katelyn Capone (Abington, MA/Abington HS) was named to the all-conference first team at No. 6 singles, while the team of senior Nicole Pelletier (Swansea, MA/Case HS) and junior Hannah Schulze (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS) were chosen at No. 1 doubles.

Capone had an outstanding rookie campaign, finishing 10-1 overall in singles including a 9-0 mark at No. 6. She was also 2-1 in limited doubles duty, including a victory over Worcester State's second team all-conference tandem at No. 3. Capone is the first Corsair women's tennis player to earn All-LEC first team honors in singles since 2008, when Amy Lopes '10 was selected at No. 1 as well as and the LEC's Player of the Year.

"Katelyn had a superb freshman season," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Doug Chapman. "She was not in our original top-six, but she became a mainstay in our lineup and her 9-0 record at No. 6 speaks for itself. She is tenacious and very adept at opening up the court."

At the start of the season, UMass Dartmouth had anything but an all-star combination at No. 1 doubles. The Corsairs won only one of their first six matches at No. 1 doubles, trying different combinations and tactics. But the early struggles turning into a winning formula, finishing the season with nine consecutive victories in the top doubles spot.

Pelletier and Schulze went unbeaten in LEC play after dropping their first league match together, including a 9-7 victory over Bridgewater State's Jenna Williamson and Lauren Hopp, the LEC's second team all-stars. It is also the first time that the Corsairs have had the LEC's No. 1 doubles team since 2008 (Amy Lopes and Becky Bullock).

"Nicole and Hannah improved tremendously as a doubles team during the season," said Coach Chapman. "They worked hard on positioning, as well as combining high percentage doubles with more aggressive play and it really clicked. They continued to get better and better, and were really playing superb doubles at the end of the season."

The All-LEC honor in doubles was the third for Schulze, who earned second team honors in 2011 and was a first team selection in 2012, both at No. 3 doubles with Liz Girczyc '13. Pelletier was named all-LEC for the second time, having been a second team selection in 2010 at No. 2 doubles playing with classmate Liz Cignoli '14. Pelletier was also the LEC's Rookie of the Year in 2010.

UMass Dartmouth finished the 2013 campaign with a 10-4 record, placing third in the LEC regular season and reaching the tournament semifinals. The Corsairs also finished tied for second place at the College Grass Court Doubles Championship at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.