Row 1 (L-R): Head Coach Roge Nesbitt, Alexa Strange, Erin Godly, Christine Ong, Natalie Fouche, Cassie Strange.
Row 2 (L-R): Retta Byron, Megan Burgess, Mirelva Colon, Emily Zampello, Jeannie Lukin.
MAAC Championship Recap
For the second time in as many years, the Marist women's tennis team won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship. The Red Foxes breezed by Fairfield 7-0 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. to complete a perfect 9-0 MAAC season. Erin Godly and Christine Ong were named Co-Most Outstanding Performers of the Tournament. The Red Foxes dominated the singles action and won two of three doubles matches for the doubles point.
Godly and Alexa Strange defeated Dana Postupack and Paulina Rys 8-6 in first doubles. The Marist pair trailed through much of the match but rallied and won the last three games for the win. Christine Ong and Cassie Strange fell in second doubles to Michael Cerrone and Gretchen Amberg 8-6. Ong and Strange were trailing 7-4 before cutting the lead to one. Unfortunately, the rally fell short as the Fairfield duo was able to hold on for the win. Natalie Fouché and her partner Mirelva Colon had no trouble in a win in third doubles. They won 8-3 over Marisa Volshin and Alyssa Ruiz.
Ong won in first singles for the Red Foxes. She defeated Postupack 7-5, 6-0. After a tough first set, the Marist senior turned up the heat and cruised in the second set. Erin Godly had no trouble with Paulina Rys in second singles. She won 6-1, 6-1. The win completed her personal perfect season in which she did not lose a single MAAC match. Cassie Strange won 6-3, 6-2 over Alyssa Ruiz in third singles. The sophomore was able to force Ruiz into many errors and was in complete control throughout.
Alexa Strange was a 6-0, 6-3 winner in fourth singles. After dominating the first set, she went up 3-0 in the second set and looked to be cruising. Her opponent, Michaela Cerrone, won the next three games to knot the second set at three all. Strange then turned up the pressure and won the last three games for the set and the match. Mirelva Colon was a 6-3, 6-4 winner in fifth singles. The junior played steady throughout, as her opponent never really threatened. Zampello cruised 6-3, 6-2 to complete the shutout. This was the second straight appearance for Marist in the NCAA's and the team had not lost a MAAC match in the past two seasons.
NCAA Tournament Recap
The team went on to face the Trojans of Southern Cal in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where they fell 4-0. Cassie Strange won three games in her suspended second singles match with Lindsey Nelson. Amanda Fink and Gabriela Niculescu were able to tie the score at 1-1 before falling behind 6-1 in their suspended second doubles match. Their match was stopped when Cristala Andrews and Maria Sanchez defeated Natalie Fouché 8-0 to clinch the doubles point. In both doubles and singles, when the point or match was clinched, all matches in progress were halted.
In first singles, Fink was leading 6-1, 4-1 over Godly prior to the match being stopped. Lindsey Nelson was victorious in second singles over Cassie Strange, but Strange fought hard throughout and was tied 3-3 in the first set before Nelson took over and won 6-3. Nelson was up 1-0 when their match was stopped. Niculescu beat Alexa Strange 6-0, 6-0 in third singles, and Sarah Fansler defeated Colon by the same score in fourth singles. In fifth singles, Maria Sanchez defeated Zampello 6-0 in the first set and was ahead 4-0 in the second set, and Entekhabi and beat Fouché 6-1, 6-1. This was the second straight appearance for Marist in the NCAA's and the team had not lost a MAAC match in the past two seasons.