April 16, 2011

Pioneer Upset Bid Falls Short in 5-1 Loss to Quinnipac at NEC's

Northeast Conference Tennis Championship Headquarters

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (April 16, 2011) - The Sacred Heart women's tennis team won the doubles point and won the first sets in five of the six singles matches but couldn't hold off the top-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats as the Pioneers fell short of a Northeast Conference Championship appearance with a 5-1 loss. 

The Pioneers opened the match by winning the doubles point.  The #3 doubles team of juniors Kate Donnelly (Centerville, MA) and Delaney Downing (Englewood, CO) opened with an 8-2 win over Lisanne Steinert and Lavinia Cristescu.  The point would come down to the #1 doubles match-up between SHU's Darcy Demers (Norton, MA) and Gabi Kaldan (New Brunswick, NJ) and Juliet Labarthe and Sarah Viebrock. 

Demers and Kaldan found themselves down 5-4 but answered by running off four-straight points to win the match 8-5 and send the team into singles play up 1-0. 

SHU kept the momentum from the doubles win going as they took one set leads in five of the six matches. Donnelly jumped in front of Rachel Cantor, 6-4, at #1.  Kaldan led her #3 singles match 6-3 after one set with Labarthe while Demers took the first set from Viebrock, 6-1 at #4. 

Junior Kristina Chao (Needham, MA) and Downing posted matching 6-4 wins in their first sets at #5 and #6, over Steinert and Cristescu and the Pioneers looked on their way to an upset win.  The Bobcats had other plans as Quinnipiac's Adrienne Markison won her #2 singles match in straight-sets, 6-2, 6-1 over senior Elizabeth Harrington (Westerly, RI) to tie the match at 1-1.

The remaining five singles matches would all head to deciding third sets where QU finished off it's comeback win.  Cantor stopped Donnelly in the third 6-2 and Viebrock battle back for a 6-3, 6-1 win.  Both Labarthe and Cristescu closed out their comeback wins at the same time, beating Kaldan 7-5 and 6-2 and Downing 6-4 and 6-3, respectively, to send QU to the finals with a 5-1 win.

The Pioneers close out their season with an 11-8 overall mark.

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