Women’s tennis earns fourth straight NCAA berth

Andy McDonough

The Quinnipiac women’s tennis team might as well start marking the NCAA tournament onto its calendar each January.

The top-seeded Bobcats beat second-seeded Long Island 4-3 Saturday in West Windsor, N.J. to win the Northeast Conference title and a berth in the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive year. They had swept Sacred Heart earlier in the day in the semifinals, after extending the same treatment to Wagner in the quarterfinals Friday.

The Bobcats took an early lead in the match after success on the doubles court and senior Danielle Rodriguez’s victory in the fifth singles slot. However, wins in the first, third and sixth singles slots left victory within reach for LIU with the second and fourth spots remaining.

Senior Gabby Pasternak, sophomore Jackie Herb and freshman Shawna Sarson fell to the Blackbirds in singles play.

Freshman Mary Wilson and junior Amanda Petruzzi were Quinnipiac’s last hope. They both rallied to win to secure the conference title.

“As great as it was [coming back to win the tournament] last year, this was the most magnificent comeback I’ve seen,” head coach Mike Quitko said. “It had to be done on two courts, but the support that we had – the team, parents, friends and the men’s team – allowed the women to rise to a whole new level.”

The Bobcats will compete in the first round of the NCAA tournament May 10. They will learn their opponent May 1 at 2:45 p.m. on ESPNews.

The men’s tennis team’s three-year reign on top of the NEC ended Saturday.

The second-seeded Bobcats fell to third-seeded Monmouth 4-2 in West Windsor. Quinnipiac had previously defeated seventh-seeded Wagner 5-1 in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Junior Scott Salway defeated sophomore Tim McClane 6-4, 6-0 in fifth-slot singles and sophomore Thomas Curran beat sophomore Vik Gupta 7-6, 6-3 in the sixth spot.

In doubles, freshmen John Hughes and Charles Feldman defeated Mclane and Gupta 8-4. Bobcat senior Stefano Salvatore was ahead of junior Tom Corrie 6-3,2-6, 4-2 in an unfinished second-flight singles match.

Seniors Michael Racioppo and Goldy Sherrill+ and Hughes fell in their respective singles matches.

Farleigh Dickinson swept Monmouth in the men’s final.