ALBANY, N.Y. – Freshman Celine Mende (Shresbury, Mass.) did not drop a game in doubles or singles to lead the way as the Merrimack College women’s tennis team downed the Saint Rose Golden Knights, 9-0, in the season opener from Myers Middle School in Albany.
Links: Box Score
Score: Merrimack 9 | Saint Rose 0
Records: Merrimack (1-0, 1-0 NE-10) | Saint Rose (0-1, 0-1 NE-10)
Location: Myers Middle School | Albany, N.Y.
What They Said
Head coach Aaron Bergeron: “I was very pleased with how our freshmen played today. They all battled first match jitters but fought through them well. Celine had a great day out there for us and didn’t drop a game. We’re switching our focus to Colby-Sawyer tomorrow.”
How It Happened
Doubles play began at No. 1 with reigning all-conference first team selections Chealsey Giatrelis (Centerville, Mass.) and Grace Messina (Caracas, Venezuela) handling their opponents by an 8-2 score. The team captains played together 13 times last season, posting a 12-1 record.
Sophomore Mackenzie Blair (Thomaston, Conn.) paired with freshman Lauren Persson (Barnstable, Mass.) to take No. 2, 8-5. The most impressive result was at No. 3, where two freshmen in Mende and Mana Seifaei (North York, Ontario) made their collegiate debuts with a shutout win, 8-0, over their counterparts in the final doubles match of the contest.
Singles rolled around and the Warriors did not skip a beat. Messina extended her conference-singles winning streak to 25 matches with a straight sets victory at No. 1. The junior is now 25-0 in the NE-10 during singles play. Outside of a 12-game contest in the second set of No. 2, Merrimack dispersed of the Golden Knights without much opposition at No. 3-6.
Persson, Seifaei and Mende all made their Merrimack debuts, and all won their singles matches in straight sets. Persson won 6-0 and 6-4 at No. 3 while Seifaei and Mende competed at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively. Mende blanked her opponent in straight sets, while Seifaei only lost one game at No. 4.
1. Grace Messina/Chealsey Giatrelis (MER) def. Averie Bowen / Isabella Cubillos (STR) 8-2
2. Mackenzie Blair/Lauren Persson (MER) def. Paige Southwick / Keri Ann Mahoney (STR) 8-5
3. Celine Mende/Mana Seifaei (MER) def. Alana Bergmann / Maria Malafronte (STR) 8-0
1. Grace Messina (MER) def. Averie Bowen (STR) 6-0, 6-2
2. Chealsey Giatrelis (MER) def. Isabella Cubillos (STR) 6-0, 7-5
3. Lauren Persson (MER) def. Paige Southwick (STR) 6-0, 6-4
4. Mana Seifaei (MER) def. Keri Ann Mahoney (STR) 6-0, 6-1
5. Mackenzie Blair (MER) def. Alana Bergmann (STR) 6-0, 6-1
6. Celine Mende (MER) def. Maria Malafronte (STR) 6-0, 6-0
Merrimack competes in its first non-conference match of the season tomorrow afternoon when the Warriors battle Colby-Sawyer at 1 p.m. in New London, N.H.