Barbetta leads the Skyhawks into the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight year. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio)
Sixth-seeded Skyhawks to battle third-seeded Bears in NCAA Tournament first round
EASTON, Mass. (April 27, 2018) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked No. 46 in this week's Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II national rankings, aims to earn its first NCAA Tournament win in seven years when it takes on third-seeded and No. 48-ranked New York Institute of Technology in first round action of the 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Tournament at the Queens College Tennis Center, on the campus of Queens (N.Y.) University, on Saturday at noon.
Admission for the match is free of charge. The winner of tomorrow's first round match will advance to Sunday's second round to face second-seeded and host Queens (10-4, 7-0 ECC), ranked No. 44 in the Oracle/ITA national rankings, at noon. The winner of the NCAA East Regional #2 will advance to the NCAA Division II Championships, in Surprise, Arizona, May 8-11.
Top-seeded and No. 41-ranked Goldey-Beacom College (16-2, 8-0 CACC), the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament champions, will host the other East Regional bracket on Saturday and Sunday. The Lightning await the winner of Saturday's first round match between fifth-seeded and No. 44 Adelphi University (14-1, 11-1 NE10), the NE10 Tournament Champions, and fourth-seeded Concordia (N.Y.) College (16-4, 7-1 CACC).
Stonehill (14-4, 12-0 NE10), regular season champions of the Northeast-10 Conference, is making its 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and its fourth in as many season with head coach Marc Maloney (56-29/.659) at the helm. It's the Skyhawks ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament over the last ten years, but they seek their first NCAA Tournament win since a 5-3 decision over Goldey-Beacom College in the first round in 2011. Stonehill reached the NCAA Championships' "Sweet 16" in 2009.
Vo is a first team All-NE10 perfomer for singles and doubles. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio/SportsPix)
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 12-6 record overall this year, including 11-1 in the NE10. Vo is 16-5 in singles play this season, including 11-0 in the NE10, and 12-3 at No. 2.
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 22-16 in singles and doubles play this season, including a 9-1 clip paired with Cunningham, who will also play at No. 4 singles for the Skyhawks this weekend. She is 9-3 in singles, including 7-1 in the NE10, splitting her four matches played at No. 4.
Freshman Isabelle Porter (Jupiter, Florida/William T. Dwyer) rounds out Stonehill's first team All-NE10 performers in the lineup this weekend at No. 3 singles. She is a combined 23-10 in singles and doubles play in her first collegiate season, earning a spot on the NE10 All-Rookie as well. Porter has posted a 15-4 singles record, including 8-0 in the NE10 and 9-2 at No. 3. Junior Nicole Downey (Groveland, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) earned third team All-NE10 honors at No. 4 singles this year, having gone 13-6 overall, including 9-3 in the NE10 and 7-4 at No. 4. She will play at No. 5 this weekend. Seniors Colleen O'Donnell (Waterville, Maine/Waterville) and Emma Prinos (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Foxboro) round out Stonehill's All-NE10 performers this season at No. 5 and No. 5 singles, respectively.
Porter earned All-NE10 first team honors in her first collegiate season. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio)
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 12-5 in singles and doubles play this season, earning NE10 Rookie of the Week honors once, posting a 10-3 doubles record, including 2-0 with Ray.
NYIT (10-6, 4-3 ECC), coming off a 5-4 win over top-seeded Goldey-Beacom in an NCAA Tournament tune-up on April 15, features the No. 1 ranked singles and doubles players in the East Region. Senior Lena Dimmer (Wallendorf-Pont, Luxembourg) is ranked No. 1 in the East Region and No. 42 nationally for singles, having posted a 19-4 record overall in singles, including 8-2 at No. 1. She is paired with sophomore Ivana Andric (Griesheim, Germany) at No. 1 doubles, having teamed up for a 7-2 record overall this year.
Postgrad Alessia Rossetti (Minusio, Switzerland) is ranked No. 6 in the Oracle/ITA East Regional singles rankings, while Andric is ranked No. 7. Rossetti has posted a 14-2 singles record, including 6-0 at No. 2, while Andric is 16-5 overall and 8-3 at No. 3. Rossetti and freshman Kaitlyn Byrnes (Massapequa, New York/Plainedge) have posted a 7-1 doubles record, including 7-0 at No. 2. Byrnes will also line up at No. 4 singles for the Bears.
Rounding out NYIT's lineup on Saturday will be sophomore Antonella Lopez Alcerro (Cortes, Honduras) at No. 5 singles and junior Ann-Kathrin Zilles (Friedrichshafen, Germany) at No. 6, with the duo teaming up at No. 3 doubles as well. NYIT is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance, having reached the "Sweet 16" five straight years.
Stonehill and NYIT last met during the 2013-14 season, with the Bears coasting to a 9-0 win. Rossetti won at No. 1 doubles and No. 4 singles for NYIT in the win as the only member of either team to play in the match. Tomorrow will mark their first NCAA Tournament encounter.
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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 (14-4, 12-0 NE10) vs. #3 NYIT (10-6, 4-3 ECC), Noon
Sunday, April 29
#6 Stonehill/#3 NYIT at #2 Queens (10-4, 7-0 ECC), Noon