#1 Stonehill and #3 Southern New Hampshire Set for Third-Straight Championship Clash
Freshman Meryl Lawrence will look to hold down the bottom of the Skyhawks lineup in her first NE-10 championship match.
Skyhawks seek fourth NE-10 postseason title, second in tournament format, at Charles Watt Tennis Courts on Sunday
EASTON, Mass. (April 21, 2012) – Two of the three teams that shared the Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship will square off for the NE-10 tournament title for the third straight year as top-seeded Stonehill College, ranked sixth in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, hosts third-seeded and No. 45-nationally ranked Southern New Hampshire University, ranked fifth in the region, at Charles Watt Tennis Courts on Sunday at 1 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the match will be moved indoors to the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex.
Stonehill (15-4, 12-1 NE-10) and Southern New Hampshire (17-5, 12-1 NE-10) shared the NE-10 regular season title with Adelphi University (16-4, 12-1 NE-10), but only one team will take the postseason title as the Skyhawks and Penmen clash in the NE-10 Championship match for the third-straight year. SNHU is the two-time defending tournament champions having posted identical 5-2 victories over Stonehill at Watt Courts in 2010 and in Goffstown, N.H., last year. The Skyhawks, who are making an NE-10 record seventh championship match appearance, seeks their fourth postseason title in NE-10 history and second tournament title, having captured the championship in 2009. Stonehill won two championships under the old flighted points system in 1991 and '92.
Stonehill reached the championship with a 5-0 victory over fourth-seeded Saint Michael's College, ranked ninth in the region, at Watt Courts on Friday. Junior Paige Frost (Brigantine, N.J./Holy Spirit) and freshman Meryl Lawrence (North Scituate, R.I./Mount Saint Charles Academy) were double-winners to lead the Skyhawks. Frost helped scratch out a 9-8 (8-6) triumph at No. 1 doubles and then clinched the win for the Skyhawks with her 6-3, 6-0 win over Jean-Marie McGrath at No. 3 singles. Lawrence and senior Amy Toegemann (Narragansett, R.I./The Lincoln School) rallied for an 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles before she put Stonehill's first singles point up on the board with her 6-2, 6-2 victory over Caroline Toutoungi at No. 5.
Junior Paige Frost looks to avenge her first career NE-10 singles loss at No. 3 on Sunday. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Southern New Hampshire, ranked 45th in the ITA Division II National Rankings, avenged its lone NE-10 regular season loss with a 5-0 triumph at second-seeded Adelphi, ranked fourth in the region, on Friday. Junior Alena Mukdaprakorn (Hartford, Conn./Kingswood Oxford), the NE-10 Player of the Year, and freshman Diana Vamvakitis (Wading River, N.Y./Westhampton Beach), the NE-10 Rookie of the Year, led the Penmen as double-winners. The duo combined for an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles before Mukdaprakorn claimed a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles and Vamvakitis won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 to seal the win. The Penmen will be making their third NE-10 championship appearance.
Stonehill is led by seniors Bacall Brooks (York, Maine/St. Thomas Aquinas), Sarah Hickey (Lee, Mass./Lee) and Toegemann have been part of its four-straight NE-10 tournament championship appearances and were freshmen on the 2009 squad that won the regular season and tournament crowns before reaching the NCAA Division II Tournament's "Sweet 16." The Skyhawks have gone a combined 74-16 (.822), including a 48-3 (.941) mark in NE-10 regular season matches, over their career.
Hickey, a four-time All-Northeast-10 singles and two-time All-NE-10 doubles player after earning honors at both this season, finished with a perfect 35-0 record over her career in NE-10 singles matches, posting a 58-2 career singles mark after winning her first 48 singles matches in her career. She is a combined 21-5 in singles and doubles play this season, posting a 10-2 singles mark, including a 9-0 record in NE-10 matches. She and Frost have posted an 11-3 record at No. 1 doubles, including a 7-2 NE-10 mark.
Senior Amy Toegemann and her classmates are participating in their fourth NE-10 Championship match on Sunday.
Toegemann is 43-30 all-time in singles matches over her career, including a 31-13 NE-10 mark, to go with a 69-10 career doubles clip. Brooks is 28-9 in doubles play over her career, including a 19-2 mark in NE-10 matches, and earned All-NE-10 honors along with doubles partner junior Jacquelyn Harrow (North Reading, Mass./North Reading).
Lawrence, a first team All-Conference performer for singles and NE-10 All-Rookie team selection, is a combined 34-4 in singles and doubles play in her first collegiate season. She is 19-2 in singles matches, including a 13-0 NE-10 mark, posting a 10-1 clip at No. 6 and going 6-0 at No. 5. She has posted a 15-2 overall doubles record, teaming up with Toegemann for a 6-0 mark of late at No. 3.
Mukdaprakorn, the fourth-ranked singles player in the region, is 19-5 this season, going 12-0 in NE-10 matches, including a 16-4 clip at No. 1. She and Vamvakitis are 10-0 as a doubles team, including an 8-0 Conference mark. Vamvakitis, ranked 18th in the region, is 19-3 in her first collegiate season, including a 12-0 NE-10 mark, going 10-0 at No. 2 after playing to a 9-2 record at No. 2. Junior Amanda Albuquerque (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) has posted a 14-7 record overall for the Penmen, including a 12-1 NE-10 clip, while going 7-5 at No. 2 and 7-1 at No. 3. She and sophomore Kirsten Jean (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) have gone 7-2 at No. 3 doubles. Jean is 15-6 in singles, including an 11-2 NE-10 record, going 14-5 at No. 6.
Stonehill holds a 10-5 advantage in the all-time series against Southern New Hampshire, but the Penmen have won the last five encounters, including a 5-4 comeback win in Manchester, N.H., on April 4. Mukdaprakorn and Vamvakitis led SNHU as double-winners as the Penmen overcame a 2-1 deficit following doubles play by winning each of the top four singles flights to clinch the key Conference win. The duo paired to claim SNHU's lone doubles win with an 8-1 triumph over Hickey and Frost at No. 1. Mukdaprakorn then defeated Toegemann, 6-4, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, while Vamvakitis topped junior Jennifer Denyes (Bradenton, Fla./St. Stephens Episcopal) 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2. Lawrence was a double-winner for Stonehill as she combined with Toegemann for an 8-6 victory at No. 3 doubles over Albuquerque and Jean before topping Jean at No. 6 singles, 6-2, 6-3.
Women's Tennis Championship
Wednesday, April 18 (at higher seeds)
#3 Southern New Hampshire 5, #6 Merrimack 0
#4 Saint Michael's 5, #5 Bentley 0
Friday, April 20 (at higher seeds)
#3 Southern New Hampshire 5, #2 Adelphi 0
#1 Stonehill 5, #4 Saint Michael's 0
Sunday, April 22 (Charles Watt Tennis Courts, Easton, Mass.)
#3 Southern New Hampshire (17-5, 12-1 NE-10) at #1 Stonehill (15-4, 12-1 NE-10), 1 p.m.