Quinnipiac women’s tennis earns second-consecutive MAAC Championship with victory over Fairfield


Cameron Levasseur

Quinnipiac women’s tennis has won seven of the last nine MAAC titles.

Ryan Raggio, Staff Writer

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — For the second year in a row and seventh time in the last decade, the Quinnipiac women’s tennis team is champion of the MAAC, defeating Fairfield 4-1 Sunday. With the win, the Bobcats complete an undefeated season in conference play. 

“There’s no better way to end it,” senior captain Claire Koscielski said.

Head coach Paula Miller kept the same pairings for the crucial doubles point from the back half of conference play, with graduate student Kamilla Nella and senior Alessia Truden at No. 1 doubles, senior Jordan Bradley and freshman Nikole Lisovyy at No. 2 and Koscielski and freshman Vera Sekerina at No. 3. 

Quinnipiac came out as a dominant force in those doubles matchups. Truden was on her game, pulled all of the tricks she had out of her bag. Following a weak hit, the opponent smashed the ball from up close but was met by Truden’s behind-the-back swat for the point. 

Bradley’s strong forehand shot, paired with Lisovyy’s agile front of the net presence, gave their opponents problems all over the court. The duo scored several points off plays where Bradley forced Fairfield to the backline, out of position, then Lisovyy cleaned up the weak returns with a smash or a cheeky drop. 

Koscielski and Sekerina were dominant the whole match, which propelled them to a 6-1 victory. Bradley and Lisovyy secured a 6-1 victory as well and gave the Bobcats the early 1-0 match lead. 

Despite the strong doubles performances from Quinnipiac, the Stags remained stout and proved to be a challenge in the singles matchups. 

“Fairfield came up tough,” head coach Paula Miller said. “I knew they were gonna be tough. We beat them in the regular season, but I knew that they had the potential of giving us a fight.” 

Lisovyy went up 5-0 quickly in her first set, which is the pace she prefers to play at, but her opponent battled her way back to nearly tie it at 5-4. 

“Paula came onto my court and she really got my head back into the game,” Lisovyy said. “I relaxed a little, being up 5-0 I thought it was going to be an easy win. It was a hard adjustment I had to make but I pulled through.”

After a pep talk from Miller, Lisovyy took the set 6-4 and followed suit with a 6-3 win in the second set, giving Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead overall. 

Not only did Truden showcase her creative skills in doubles, but in singles she was slicing and dicing her way to points. Her forehand shots were precise but her backhand shots needed an adjustment because of a lingering injury. 

“I do have two torn ligaments, so of course I can’t play a two-handed backhand,” Truden said. “Most of the girls don’t like low slices, especially to their backhands, so this kind of plays in my favor. When I have to rely on something, I’ll just slice and it works out ” 

Truden took the first set, after a tough back and forth contest, 6-4. In the second set she incorporated more slicing into her playstyle, which gave her opponent trouble as she would hit the low change-up into the top of the net. Truden took the second set 6-2, leaving the Bobcats one win away from another MAAC Championship. 

Nella went down early to her opponent in the first set 6-2. She battled back in the second set but it wasn’t enough as Fairfield got a point  back after a 7-5 win. Quinnipiac remained ahead 3-1. 

Bradley went down one set, but tied it up 1-1 in her match as it headed to a third set. Koscielski was locked in a tight battle at the No. 1 spot down one set but ahead by one game in the second. Sekerina won her first set 6-3, but her opponent, junior Katarina Plumtree, wouldn’t go away without a fight. 

Both exchanged wins until the score of the second set was knotted at five all. The hopes of winning the MAAC championship rested on the Kazan, Russia, native’s shoulders and she had ice in her veins. 

“Since the entire team was looking at me, I knew that it was really important for everyone,” Sekerina said. “I was just fighting for every single point to win.”

Sekerina swept her opponent in the final game 60-0, giving Quinnipiac the 4-1 match victory. 

Lisovyy was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for her impressive weekend, as she went a perfect 4-0. 

The Bobcats head to the NCAA tournament for the second-consecutive season. The NCAA selection show will take place on May 1 at 6 p.m.