Women’s tennis takes fifth-straight NEC crown

Brian Stevenson

Different year, same result.

The Quinnipiac University women’s tennis team won their fifth straight Northeast Conference championship Sunday, defeating Long Island University 4-2 to advance to the NCAA tournament.

All five tournament titles have come against the Blackbirds.

“We knew what kind of competition was out there,” head coach Mike Quitko said. “The Northeast Conference is improving every year and we knew it was going to be tough.”

The Bobcats easily took care of St. Francis (PA) in the quarterfinal round.

Adrienne Markison and Nicole Adams did not drop a game, winning 6-0, 6-0 in No. 3 and No. 6 singles.

Amanda Petruzzi and Jackie Herb swept their No. 2 doubles match 8-0, as did the No. 3 doubles pair of Adams and Lisanne Steinert.

Herb also won her No. 3 singles match 6-1, 6-1.

In the quarterfinals, the Bobcats downed Mount St. Mary’s 4-0.

The Mountaineers upset Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals, so Quitko had his team prepared for a difficult matchup.

“Mount is a good team, but I felt we were under control the whole time. They beat SHU, so we knew what they were capable of” he said.

The Bobcats did not drop a set in their sweep of the No. 5 seeded Mountaineers.

Herb and Petruzzi won their No. 2 doubles match 8-3 and Markison and Mary Wilson won 8-4 to earn the doubles point.

Wilson, Petruzzi and Steinert each won singles matches to finish the match.

In the final, the Bobcats took on a talented Blackbird squad that they are all too familiar with.

“We are used to playing LIU,” Quitko said. “They are a well coached team and play hard.”

Doubles wins in No. 1 and 2 by Wilson and Markison and Herb and Petruzzi respectively gave the Bobcats the always valuable doubles point.

“It was real important to take that doubles point,” Quitko said. “When we did that, we just needed to split the singles matchups to take home the title.”

The Bobcats did just that en route to the title.

Markison won her No. 3 singles matchup 6-2, 6-2 and Petruzzi took the No. 4 singles point with a 6-0, 6-1 win.

After Herb and Steinert were defeated in the No. 2 and No. 5 matches, the Bobcats led 3-2 with two matches still being played.

Adams trailed for the Bobcats in the No. 6 singles matchup, but for the second consecutive year, Mary Wilson clinched an NCAA berth, winning the final point with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in No. 1 singles.

“We know we’re facing a Top-16 team, we’ll find out who next Tuesday,” Quitko said. “But the goal is simple. We know we can win points. Points turn into games, games turn into sets, sets turn into wins, and wins turn into matches. In the past we haven’t used the win before. We are going there to do our best and to try and win.”