EASTON, Mass. – The fourth-seeded Merrimack College women’s tennis team nearly completed a surprise run to the Northeast-10 Championship, but came up short in a 5-3 defeat against Stonehill College.
Score: Merrimack 3 | Stonehill 5
Records: Merrimack (11-5, 8-4 NE-10) | Stonehill (13-2, 10-2 NE-10)
Location: Charles Watt Tennis Courts | Easton, Mass.
How It Happened
The Warriors entered the conference championship making a bid for the program’s second title in as many seasons after upsetting top-seeded Adelphi on Friday night in the semifinals.
In Merrimack’s way were the Skyhawks, a team that hosted the championship match due to its victory over Southern New Hampshire in the semifinals.
In doubles action, Merrimack lost two of the three contests. At. No. 1, Grace Messina (Caracas, Venezuela) and Chealsey Giatrelis (Centerville, Mass.) notched a 8-4 victory.
The other two doubles matches were certainly championship caliber. At No. 2, Rachel Muller (North Andover, Mass.) and Shakee Messina (Caracas, Venezuela) trailed 7-2 before making a run to cut the deficit to 7-4. Their opponents, Analise Kump and Victoria Barbetta, rebounded to win an eighth game and take it 8-4.
Freshmen Danielle Dunn (Middleton, Mass.) and Mackenzie Blair (Thomaston, Conn.) partook in a back-and-forth game at No. 3, 8-6, but Merrimack was unable to win the contest as Stonehill took a 2-1 lead into singles play.
All singles matches began simultaneously, with No. 6 ending first. Blair lost to her opponent, 6-1, 6-0, giving Stonehill a 3-1 advantage.
Grace Messina and Giatrelis won at No. 1 and No. 3, repspectively, to even the contest at 3-3. The tie was short-lived as Dunn lost at No. 4, moving Stonehill within one victory of the championship.
That victory came at No. 2 as Shakee Messina could not hold off Kump, 6-3, 6-3, as Stonehill won its second title over the last three years.
1. Grace Messina/Chealsey Giatrelis (MER) def. Bailey Paradiso/Emma Prinos (STO) 8-4
2. Analise Kump/Victoria Barbetta (STO def. Shakee Messina/Rachel Muller (MER) 8-4
3. Meryl Lawrence/Colleen O’Donnell (STO) def. Mackenzie Blair/Danielle Dunn (Mer) 8-6
1. Grace Messina (MER) def. Bailey Paradiso (STO) 6-2, 6-1
2. Analise Kump (STO) def. Shakee Messina (MER) 6-3, 6-3
3. Chealsey Giatrelis (MER) def. Emma Prinos (STO) 6-0, 6-1
4. Victoria Barbetta (STO) def. Danielle Dunn (MER) 6-0, 6-0
5. Rachel Muller (MER) vs. Meryl Lawrence (STO) 6-4, 3-6, 1-2
6. Colleen O’Donnell (STO) def. Mackenzie Blair (MER) 6-1, 6-0