Porter had a hand in both clinching points for the Skyhawks in Friday's semifinal win over Le Moyne.
Top-seeded Skyhawks seek first tournament title since 2014 Sunday against second-seeded Merrimack
EASTON, Mass. (October 27, 2018) – Top-seeded Stonehill College, ranked No. 42 in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II national rankings, seeks its sixth Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Championship in program history, but its first since 2014, when it hosts second-seeded Merrimack College for the NE10 Championship match at Charles Watt Tennis Courts on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Admission for the NE10 Championship is free of charge, with live results available via stonehillskyhawks.com and updates on Twitter from @GoStonehill. In addition to claiming the NE10 Championship, the winner of tomorrow's match will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament in the spring.
Stonehill (12-1, 11-0 NE10), which is making its NE10 record 20th Tournament appearance, has reached the championship match for the fifth straight year and tenth time over the last 11 seasons, with its NE10 record 13th finals trip overall. The Skyhawks, which captured their ninth NE10 regular season title this fall, aims to add their sixth tournament title and win both crowns in the same season for the third time in program history and first since completing the championship double in 2009. Stonehill also won the postseason championship in 2013 and 2014 to go with titles in 1991 and 1992 under the old flighted points system before the league switched to its present dual match tournament format in 1999. The Skyhawks ran undefeated through the NE10 schedule for the second-straight year and sixth time in program history overall.
Merrimack (11-5, 9-2 NE10) has reached the NE10 Championship match for the fifth time in program history and first since the fall of 2014, when it was edged by Stonehill, 5-3 at Watt Tennis Courts. The Warriors, competing in their 16th and final NE10 Tournament, will be looking for their fourth NE10 Championship, having last won the title in the spring of 2014 with a 5-3 win over Adelphi University. Merrimack also won the championship in 2001 and 2002 and has split its two previous championship match encounters with Stonehill, having posted a 5-4 victory in 2002.
Both teams earned first round byes in this year's NE10 Tournament and earned comfortable semifinal round wins on Friday. Stonehill defeated fourth-seeded Le Moyne College, 4-0 at Watt Courts in the semifinals for the second-straight year, with juniors Alexandra Vo and Annelise Howick, along with sophomore Isabelle Porter all earning singles and doubles wins for the Skyhawks. Porter and freshman Samantha Ormesher clinched the doubles point for Stonehill with their 7-5 decision at No. 2 doubles, and then Porter clinched the match win with her 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 1 singles.
Downey provides leadership at the bottom of the Skyhawks lineup.
Merrimack earned a 4-1 win over third-seeded and No. 48-ranked Adelphi in their semifinal match. Sophomore Cassie Restrepo and freshman Rosemary Campanella led the Warriors as double-winners. Campanella and senior Mana Seifaei clinched the doubles point for Merrimack with their 6-4 decision at No. 1, while Restrepo provided the match-clinching point with her 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles.
Stonehill head coach Marc Maloney, the 2017 NE10 Coach of the Year in his fifth season, brings seven All-NE10 performers into the NE10 Championship, including three that earned first team honors and four named All-Conference for both singles and doubles. Senior Nicole Downey, who earned All-NE10 first team honors at No. 3 doubles, along with junior Caroline Ray, will compete in her fourth NE10 Championship match with a combined 19-3 record in singles and doubles play. Downey and Ray won all seven of their NE10 matches and are 7-1 overall, while Downey has posted a 12-1 record overall, including 10-0 in the NE10. She owns a 93-33 overall combined record in her career, including a combined 62-7 in NE10 matches.
Porter and Vo provide leadership at the top of the lineup for Stonehill. Porter earned All-NE10 second team honors at both No. 1 singles and doubles, along with classmate Bethany Hammond, and is ranked No. 15 in the Oracle/ITA East Region singles rankings. She is a combined 23-9 in singles and doubles play this fall, posting a 12-4 singles mark, including 8-2 in the NE10, with an 11-5 doubles record with two different partners. Porter and Hammond are 9-3 this fall, including 7-1 in the NE10, and Porter has posted a 47-20 combined record over her career, including 28-9 in singles and 16-2 in the NE10. Hammond also earned All-NE10 third team honors at No. 4 singles with an 8-3 record overall, including 5-1 in the NE10.
Vo, the 2016 NE10 Rookie of the Year, is a five-time All-NE10 performer at Stonehill, having collected the accolades for both singles and doubles two-straight years. She earned second team honors at both No. 2 singles and doubles, along with Ormesher, this fall with a 24-8 combined singles and doubles record. Vo is 13-2 in singles play, including a 9-0 mark in the NE10 to run her career record in NE10 regular season singles matches to 32-0 for her career. She and Ormesher have teamed up for a 6-1 record, including 6-0 in the NE10. Vo has posted a combined overall record of 84-35, including a 46-11 singles mark, which includes her 32-0 NE10 singles record.
Ormesher and freshman Emma Markaryan have both made an immediate impact in the Stonehill lineup in their first collegiate seasons. Ormesher earned All-NE10 first team honors at No. 3 singles, and is a combined 21-8 in singles and doubles play, including a 10-4 singles record to go with an 11-4 doubles mark. Markaryan earned All-NE10 first team honors at No. 5 singles, posting an 11-1 singles record, winning all ten of her NE10 matches.
Vo will compete at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles on Sunday.
Third year head coach Dena Madden, named the NE10 Coach of the Year earlier this week, brings five All-NE10 performers into Sunday's championship match. Campanella and freshman Hope Salts both earned All-NE10 first team honors for the Warriors, while Restrepo earned second team singles honors and senior Lauren Persson and junior Mia Briggs collected third team doubles honors.
Campanella is a combined 26-11 in singles and doubles play, including a 16-2 singles mark with 12-straight wins, having won all 11 of her NE10 matches, seeing action at four different singles flights over the course of the season. Salts has posted a 10-4 singles record for the Warriors, including 9-1 in the NE10, also playing at four different flights. Restrepo is a combined 22-15 in singles and doubles play, including a 10-7 singles record, having gone 7-3 in the NE10. She has posted a 12-8 doubles record, including 6-4 in the NE10.
Stonehill posted a 6-1 victory over Merrimack in the regular season encounter between these two teams at Watt Courts on October 10. Downey, Vo, Porter and Hammond were all double-winners for the Skyhawks. Vo and Ormesher clinched a hard-fought doubles point for Stonehill with their 7-6 (7-4) decision at No. 2 against Restrepo and freshman Kristina Calistro. Hammond provided the match-deciding fourth point for Stonehill with a comeback three-set win against Persson at No. 3 singles. Vo dispatched Restrepo 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, while Porter defeated Seifaei at No. 1 singles, 7-5, 6-1.
Merrimack's lone point was won at No. 4 singles by Campanella, when Ormesher retired in the second set leading 1-0 after Campanella took the opening set 6-1. Two of the three doubles matches went to tiebreakers, with Stonehill taking all three, and three singles matches went into a third set in the match three weeks ago. Two of those singles points went the Skyhawks way as well.
For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.
2018 Northeast-10 Conference
Women's Tennis Tournament
Wednesday, October 24
#3 Adelphi 4, #6 Assumption 1
#4 Le Moyne 4, #5 New Haven 1
Friday, October 26
#2 Merrimack 4, #3 Adelphi 1
#1 Stonehill 4, #4 Le Moyne 0
Sunday, October 28
#2 Merrimack (11-5, 9-2 NE10) at #1 Stonehill (12-1, 11-0 NE10), 2 p.m.