Porter knocked off the region's No. 7-ranked singles player to spur the Skyhawks opening round win on Saturday
Sixth-seeded Skyhawks will battle second-seeded Queens for trip to NCAA Championships
FLUSHING, N.Y. (April 29, 2018) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked No. 46 in this week's Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II national rankings, looks to earn a return trip to the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championships for the first time in nine years when it squares off against second-seeded and No. 44-ranked Queens (N.Y.) College for an NCAA Tournament East Regional second round at the Queens Tennis Center on Sunday.
Admission for the match is free of charge. The winner of tomorrow's NCAA East Regional #2 second round matchup will advance to the NCAA Division II Championships, in Surprise, Arizona, May 8-11, for the Round of 16. While Queens (10-4, 7-0 ECC) received a first round bye, Stonehill advanced to the second round with a 5-3 come-from-behind win over third-seeded and No. 48 NYIT (10-7, 4-3 ECC) in Saturday's opening round. Senior Colleen O'Donnell (Waterville, Maine/Waterville) capped the Skyhawks first NCAA Tournament win since 2011 with her victory at No. 6 singles. Freshman Isabelle Porter (Jupiter, Florida/William T. Dwyer) posted a key straight sets win against NYIT sophomore Ivana Andric, ranked No. 7 in the most recent Oracle/ITA East Region singles rankings to spark the comeback from a 2-1 deficit after doubles by winning four of six singles matches.
Stonehill (15-4, 12-0 NE10), regular season champions of the Northeast-10 Conference, aims to reach the "Sweet 16" for the first time since 2009, when it posted a 5-4 win over Queens in Easton, Massachusetts, in the second round. The Skyhawks are making their 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, overall, and its fourth in as many season with head coach Marc Maloney (57-29/.663) at the helm. It's the Skyhawks ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament over the last ten years.
Stonehill, which returned to the Oracle/ITA national rankings this spring for the first time in eight years and was ranked as high as No. 42 in back to back weeks, features six first team All-NE10 performers, four of which are slated to be in the lineup this weekend. Sophomore Alexandra Vo (Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania/Nazareth Academy) leads the All-NE10 group with first team honors at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles. Vo and sophomore Annelise Howick (Jacksonville, Florida/Creekside) will line up at No. 1 doubles for the Skyhawks, having combined to post a 12-7 record overall this year, including 11-1 in the NE10. Vo is 16-6 in singles play this season, including 11-0 in the NE10, and 12-4 at No. 2.
O'Donnell sealed the Skyhawks win on Saturday.
Senior Victoria Barbetta (Wesley Chapel, Florida/Saddlebrook Prep (Fla.)) competes at No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles for Stonehill, along with freshman Kate Cunningham (Somerset, England/IMG Academy (Fla.)). Barbetta is a combined 22-17 in singles and doubles play this season, including a 9-2 clip paired with Cunningham, who will also play at No. 4 singles for the Skyhawks this weekend. She is 10-3 in singles after her win in Saturday's first round, including 7-1 in the NE10, splitting her four matches played at No. 4.
Porter rounds out Stonehill's first team All-NE10 performers in the lineup this weekend at No. 3 singles. She is a combined 24-10 in singles and doubles play in her first collegiate season, earning a spot on the NE10 All-Rookie as well. Porter has posted a 16-4 singles record, including 8-0 in the NE10 and 10-2 at No. 3. Junior Nicole Downey (Groveland, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) earned third team All-NE10 honors at No. 4 singles this year, having gone 14-6 overall, including 9-3 in the NE10 and 7-4 at No. 4. She will play at No. 5 this weekend. O'Donnell and classmate Emma Prinos (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Foxboro) round out Stonehill's All-NE10 performers this season at No. 5 and No. 5 singles, respectively.
Freshman Bethany Hammond (Belgrade, Maine/Saint Dominic) will complete Stonehill's lineup this weekend at No. 6 singles. She will also pair up with sophomore Caroline Ray (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) at No. 3 doubles. Hammond is a combined 13-5 in singles and doubles play this season, earning NE10 Rookie of the Week honors once, posting an 11-3 doubles record, including 3-0 with Ray.
Vo earned All-NE10 first team honors at No. 1 singles and 200 i would call back as well.
Queens, making its 18th NCAA Tournament appearance, looks to advance to the NCAA Championships for the second-straight year. The Knights have lost four-straight heading into Sunday's second round battle, dating back to a 5-4 setback to NYIT in the East Coast Conference Championship in October. Queens has battled three Division I programs during its spring schedule and was dealt a 5-4 loss by East Region top-seed Goldey-Beacom on April 6.
Queens, the ECC regular season champions, is led by two regionally-ranked singles players and one regionally-ranked doubles tandem. Junior Reehan Rashad (Alexandria, Egypt) is ranked No. 3 in the most recent Oracle/ITA East Region singles rankings and has posted a 10-4 record overall, including 8-4 at No. 1 singles where she is slotted to play again on Sunday. Rashad and classmate Laura Ortega Jover (Cueca, Spain) are ranked ninth in the Oracle/ITA East Region doubles rankings, posting a 9-5 record overall, including 6-4 at No. 1.
Sophomore Louisa Brunetti (Stockholm, Sweden) is ranked No. 16 in the most recent Oracle/ITA East Region rankings, has posted a 7-3 record overall, but is just 1-1 at No. 3 where she will play on Sunday, having won six of eight this year at No. 2.
Stonehill and Queens last met in the NCAA Tournament for a first round matchup in 2015. The Knights cruised to a 5-0 victory in the matchup and winning the last two NCAA Tournament matchup, dating back to the Skyhawks second round win to earn a trip to the NCAA Division II Championships in Surprise, Arizona. Stonehill claimed a 5-4 triumph over Queens in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2009, on its way to a "Sweet 16" return.
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2018 NCAA Division II Women's Tennis East Regional #2
Hosted by Queens (N.Y.) College, Flushing, N.Y.
Saturday, April 28
#6 Stonehill 5, #3 NYIT 3
Sunday, April 29
#6 Stonehill (15-4, 12-0 NE10) at #2 Queens (10-4, 7-0 ECC), Noon