TOWNSHIP OF WASHINGTON, NJ – On Senior Day under the threat of inclement weather, the St. Thomas Aquinas College women’s tennis team moved indoors to defeat East Coast Conference for Daemen College 6-3 on Saturday. The win was the second in a row for the Lady Spartans, giving them three conference wins for the first time since the 2015 season, and moves them within striking distance of earning their first ECC tournament berth since the 2011 season.
Doubles victories once again proved to be a major impact for STAC, as they won two of three contests to take a 2-1 into singles action. Senior tri-captain Carolyn Kopf ’18 (Garnerville, NY) and sophomore Katarina Lopez ’20 (New City, NY) got the Spartans on the board with an 8-2 win at third doubles, while senior tri-captain Sara O’Brien ’18 (Orangeburg, NY) and freshman Lovisa Engstrand ’21 (Stockholm, Sweden) quickly followed suit with their own 8-2 victory at first doubles. The first doubles win was the sixth in the last eight tries for O’Brien and Engstrand. An 8-6 defeat at second doubles was the only thing in the way of a doubles sweep. Fellow senior tri-captain Nyenyeri Kanefu ’18 (Rutherford, NJ) and freshman Cassandra Rohr ’21 (Mallorca, Spain) were leading 4-3 before dropping five of the next seven games.
O’Brien kept her momentum rolling in singles action, taking her fifth singles match 6-0, 6-0 to give the Spartans a 3-1 lead. Losses at first and sixth singles would allow Daemen to tie the match at 3-3, but the freshmen duo of Rohr and Engstrand picked up the slack at second and third singles, winning 6-2, 6-2 and 6-3, 6-2, repectively. Engstrand’s point was the clincher for the Spartans, giving them a 5-3 lead. The win was also the freshman Swede’s eigth consecutive dual match singles victory.
With the match decided, Lopez battled to win her first set in a tie break, 7-6 (7-3) and won 6-4 in the second set to give her squad the sixth point of the match.
On Tuesday the Lady Spartans travel to take on East Stroudsburg, with first serve set for 3:00 PM, weather permitting.
St. Thomas Aquinas 6, Daemen 3
1. O’Brien/Engstrand (STAC) def. Yuen/Robins (DC), 8-2
2. Boutris/Ringler (DC) def. Kanefu/Rohr (STAC), 8-6
3. Kopf/Lopez (STAC) def. Park/Stasiuk (DC), 8-2
1. Lorissa Yuen (DC) def. Nyenyeri Kanefu (STAC), 6-1, 6-1
2. Cassandra Rohr (STAC) def. Giovanna Boutris (DC), 6-2, 6-2
3. Lovisa Engstrand (STAC) def. Christina Stasiuk (DC), 6-3, 6-2
4. Katarina Lopez (STAC) def. Gretchen Ringler (DC), 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
5. Sara O’Brien (STAC) def. Morgan Park (DC), 6-0, 6-0
6. Jessica Robins (DC) def. Carolyn Kopf (STAC), 6-1, 6-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 1, 2) Singles (5, 1, 6, 2, 3*, 4)
St. Thomas Aquinas 5-8 (3-3 ECC)
Daemen 7-7 (1-4 ECC)