On Senior Day and in their final East Coast Conference match of the season, the St. Thomas Aquinas College women's tennis team dropped a heartbreaker to the University of the District of Columbia by a final score of 5-4.
Lasting over four hours on the beautiful, sunny day at "The Dome," the decisive point came on the last match up at fourth singles. The final tally was the closest ever in head to head matchups between the two schools.
With the match tied at 4-4, and after dropping her first set 7-6 (2), junior Sara O'Brien '18 (Orangeburg, NY) unleashed the fury to even the score at one set all by taking the second set 6-4. Showcasing her usual grit and determination, O'Brien looked to have found the winning formula, but couldn't quite get past her UDC counterpart, losing the third set 6-3.
The Spartans finished the doubles portion with a 2-1 lead, after junior Nyenyeri Kanefu '18 (Rutherford, NJ) and freshman Katarina Lopez '20 (New City, NY) teamed to win at second doubles 8-3. The Lady Spartans also earned a point via forfeit at third doubles.
Senior Raven DeLeon '17 (Brooklyn, NY) made it a 4-1 advantage for the hosts with her 6-0, 6-0 victory at fifth singles. The always dependable DeLeon used a variety of forehands and backhands to force her opponent into errors. Fellow senior Bianca Signore '17 (Staten Island, NY) dropped a hard-fought bout at first singles, losing in a set tie-break in the first set 7-6 (6) and dropping the second 6-1.
Signore, DeLeon, Shannon Biehle '17 (Tompkins Cove, NY), and Nasia Vega '17 (West New York, NJ) were all honored prior to the start of the match for their hard work and dedication to the program. The quartet of seniors also served as team captains for the year.
The Lady Spartans have one remaining match for their fall season, as they host Rider University on Saturday, October 15 at 10 AM, weather permitting. The match is part of a co-ed double header, as the men's tennis team also takes on Rider immediately following the conclusion of the women's slate.
UDC 5, STAC 4
- Hadnadova/Skobkina (UDC) def. Signore/O'Brien (STAC) – 8-2
- Kanefu/Lopez (STAC) def. Avellan/Castrillon (UDC) – 8-3
- DeLeon/Biehle (STAC) def. No Player
- Hadnadova (UDC) def. Bianca Signore (STAC) – 7-6 (6), 6-1
- Skobkina (UDC) def. Nyenyeri Kanefu (STAC) – 6-3, 6-3
- Avellan (UDC) def. Katarina Lopez (STAC) – 6-0, 6-0
- Castrillon (UDC) def. Sara O'Brien (STAC) – 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-3
- Raven DeLeon (STAC) def. Ward (UDC) – 6-0, 6-0
- Shannon Biehle (STAC) def. No Player