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WORCESTER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s tennis team won twice during doubles and prevailed at No. 1-4 singles to defeat Assumption College, 6-3, on Wednesday evening from the Assumption Tennis Courts. The victory marked Merrimack’s first of 2015 over an opponent ranked higher than the Warriors in the Northeast-10 Conference standings.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 6
, Assumption 3
Records: Merrimack (9-3, 7-3 NE-10)
 | Assumption (8-3, 7-2 NE-10)
 Assumption Tennis Courts | Worcester, Mass.

How It Happened
Playing for the second time together this season at first doubles, junior captain Grace Messina (Caracas, Venezuela) and freshman Mana Seifaei (North York, Ontario) won by a six-game margin to set the tone for the Warriors.

Senior captain Chealsey Giatrelis (Centerville, Mass.) and sophomore Danielle Dunn (Middleton, Mass.) reunited as a pair for the first time this season after playing together in six matches during Dunn’s rookie year. The combo prevailed in a back-and-forth contest, 8-6. Freshman Lauren Persson (Barnstable, Mass.) and Celine Mende(Shrewsbury, Mass.) debuted as a pair at No. 3, losing by two games.

For the third time this season, Messina began singles play without dropping a game at No. 1. She now owns a 33-match winning streak in NE-10 singles, and sports an 11-0 mark at first singles (8-0, NE-10). Giatrelis picked up a straight-set victory at No. 2 after her two contests over the weekend went the distance.

Seifaei and Persson also won their matches at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, without having to go to a third set. Seifaei avoided a tiebreak in the opening frame by winning the 12th game and taking a 7-5 set win. Mende suffered the first loss of her career at sixth singles, 6-2 and 6-3.

All six of the Warriors’ previous victories in league play had come by 9-0 scores. The Warriors won on Wednesday for the first time in NE-10 play this season when they did not shutout an opponent.

Northeast-10 Postseason Outlook
The top-six programs qualify for the NE-10 Championship with the top-two seeds receiving byes to the semifinals; Merrimack plays Bentley tomorrow with a chance to clinch a spot in the postseason.

1. Adelphi (10-0)
2. Stonehill (8-1)
3. Southern New Hampshire (7-1)
4. Assumption (7-2)
5. Merrimack (7-3)
6. Le Moyne (6-4)
7. Bentley (6-4)
8. Saint Anselm (4-5)
9. Saint Michael’s (3-7)
10. Saint Rose (1-8)
11. Franklin Pierce (1-8)
12. New Haven (1-9)
13. American Int’l (1-10)

1. Grace Messina/ Mana Seifaei (MER) def. Hannah Riley / Paige Benoit (ASM) 8-2
2. Danielle Dunn / Chealsey Giatrelis (MER) def. Cassie Burbine / Marie Black (ASM) 8-6
3. Kristen Carbone / Aubrey Lovejoy (ASM) def. Celine Mende / Lauren Persson (MER) 8-6

1. Grace Messina (MER) def. Cassie Burbine (ASM) 6-0, 6-0
2. Chealsey Giatrelis (MER)  def. Hannah Riley (ASM)  6-1, 6-3
3. Mana Seifaei (MER) def. Paige Benoit (ASM) 7-5, 6-2
4. Lauren Persson (MER) def. Marie Black (ASM) 6-1, 6-2
5. Aubrey Lovejoy (ASM) def. Danielle Dunn (MER) 6-3, 6-1
6. Cassy Waung (ASM) def.  Celine Mende (MER) 6-2, 6-3

Up Next
The Warriors host Bentley University tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. from North Andover High School in the final home regular-season match of the year for the Navy and Gold.

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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