Oct. 22, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's tennis team swept the doubles matches and went on to defeat visiting Western Connecticut State, in a Little East Conference semi-final playoff match at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex Friday.
Junior Alexa Fiorita (Reading, MA/Reading HS) won the deciding match, defeating junior Elizabeth Bonacci (Danbury, CT/Danbury HS) at number five singles, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. The Colonials won three of the first four singles matches that were completed to narrow UMD's advantage to 4-3 before Fiorita won.
Freshmen Angela Pollard (Portsmouth, RI/Portsmouth HS) and Allison Furtado (Fairhaven, MA/Fairhaven HS) defeated junior Maxx Zimmer (Sandy Hook, CT/Newtown HS) and freshman Lisa Zandergo (Torrington, CT/Torrington HS) at number three doubles, 8-1. Freshmen Nicole Pelletier (Swansea, MA/Case HS) and Elizabeth Cignoli (Springfield, MA/Cathedral HS) then outlasted senior Ali Mahony (Bristol, CT/ Bristol Eastern HS) and sophomore Ashley Gorelick (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield HS) at number two doubles, 8-6. At number one, senior Amy Lopes (Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth HS) and Fiorita took a 5-2 lead, saw their lead disappear into a 5-5 tie, then hung on to defeat seniors Lauren Post (Danbury, CT/Danbury HS) and Alyssa Hoynack (Old Lyme, CT/Old Lyme HS), 8-6.
Cignoli had to retire in her match at number three singles against Mahoney after just one game, but Pollard's 6-3, 6-2 victory against senior Debbie Ferreira (Danbury, CT/Danbury HS) left the Corsairs one match away from clinching the win. But Hoynack defeated Pelletier at number two singles, 7-5, 6-4, and Gorelick downed senior Blair Dalrymple (North Attleboro, MA/North Attleboro HS) at number four, 6-4, 6-2, setting the stage for Fiorita's dramatic win.
"I'm very happy with the way it turned out," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Ralph Perry. "It was very important for us to win all three doubles. We were down at number one and we came back, and our freshmen at number two and number three doubles did a great job. Alexa was up 3-0 in the third set, Bonacci came back and won the next three games, and then she won three straight games to win it for us. It was a big match, and it could have gone either way."
The Corsairs improved to 12-1 with the victory, while the Colonials dropped to 9-5 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will host the LEC Championship match against Bridgewater State Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The match was the final action of the season for Western Connecticut.
"We are one match from the NCAAs, and our team knows what's on the line," said Perry. "We're looking for an extremely tough match with Bridgewater State."
UMASS DARTMOUTH TENNIS