NE10 SEMIFINAL: #1 Women's Tennis Survives Against #5 Le Moyne, 5-4

Cunningham was the lone double-winner for the Skyhawks with points at No. 2 doubles and No. 5 singles.

Cunningham a double-winner, Downey clinches win with three-set triumph

EASTON, Mass. (October 27, 2017) – Top-seeded and regular season champions Stonehill College, ranked No. 6 in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II East Regional rankings, survived a postseason scare from fifth-seeded Le Moyne College by claiming a 5-4 triumph in semifinal round action of the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Tournament at Charles Watt Tennis Courts this afternoon.

Stonehill (14-0, 12-0 NE10) advances to the NE10 Championship match for the fourth-straight year and 12th time in program history overall, and it will host second-seeded Adelphi University (13-1, 11-1 NE10) on Sunday. Match time and location is to be determined tomorrow morning, due to the forecast for inclement weather later in the afternoon. Stonehill and Adelphi will square off for the NE10 Championship for the third straight year, with the Skyhawks aiming to make the third time the charm, as the Panthers have won the last two NE10 Tournament titles, including a 5-4 decision at Watt Courts last year. Adelphi advanced with a 5-1 victory over third-seeded Southern New Hampshire University (11-4, 9-3 NE10) in today's other semifinal match. Le Moyne, which was making its first NE10 semifinal appearance, sees its fall season come to a close at 13-5 overall, including an 8-4 mark in the NE10.

Freshman Kate Cunningham (Somerset, England/IMG Academy (Fla.)) was a double-winner for Stonehill and junior Nicole Downey (Groveland, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) claimed a huge three-set triumph at No. 4 singles to clinch the Skyhawks win. Both won big three set matches to cap a Stonehill rally from a 2-1 deficit following doubles. Cunningham and senior Victoria Barbetta (Wesley Chapel, Florida/Saddlebrook Prep) earned the Skyhawks lone doubles point with their 8-2 win at No. 2.

Sophomore Alexandra Vo (Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania/Nazareth Academy) quickly evened the match at two points apiece with her 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles against Le Moyne junior Tiffany Hamdan (Johnson City, New York/Johnson City). Freshman Isabelle Porter (Jupiter, Florida/William T. Dwyer) followed that up with a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 3 singles against senior Amica Benoit-Limosani (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec).

Le Moyne held leads in each of the remaining singles matches on the court and pulled within a point of the upset win when freshman Camila Humala (Lima, Peru) handed Stonehill senior Colleen O'Donnell (Waterville, Maine/Waterville) just her second singles loss against an NE10 opponent over her career, both coming against Le Moyne players within the last month, with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 decision a No. 6. Classmate Rithika Vajjiravelu (Chennai, India) avenged a loss to Barbetta earlier this season with a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) decision at No. 1 singles to give the Dolphins four points.

Cunningham and Downey, however, took care of business from there to clinch the win for Stonehill. Cunningham battled back from a set down for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision over freshman Marta Nunez (Rye, New York/Antonio Lopez (Spain)) at No. 5 singles to knot the match at 4-4. Downey then sealed the win with her 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 triumph at No. 4 singles over freshman Caroline St. Antoine (Longueuil, Quebec).

Vajjiravelu was a double-winner for Le Moyne as she and Benoit-Limosani clinched the 2-1 Dolphins edge after doubles play with their 8-4 victory at No. 1 against Vo and sophomore Annelise Howick (Jacksonville, Florida/Creekside). Hamdan and St. Antoine teamed up for an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles for the Dolphins first point of the match.

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