BOSTON, Mass. – After two year hiatus, the University of Massachusetts Boston women's tennis team will begin their quest for a Little East Conference title tomorrow afternoon, when they travel to Plymouth State University in the first round of this year's tournament. The Beacons, who are currently the sixth seed, will face the third seeded Panthers tomorrow at 2 p.m.
The tournament appearance is the first for UMass since 2008, when they faced Rhode Island College. UMass closed out their 2011 regular season with an overall record of 6-8, 3-5 in the Little East Conference. Plymouth State ended their season with a record of 9-4, 5-3 in the LEC.
Pacing the Beacons this season at number one singles has been Anitra Kloczewiak (Newton, MA). The junior, who now holds the program record for most career wins in doubles play and combined wins overall, closed out the fall season with 8-6 overall record, and a 4-4 mark against conference opponents.
Also having a strong fall, has been Hieu Nguyen (Dorchester, MA). The junior, Nguyen closed out the regular season with an impressive 12-2 record, which included going 7-1 in conference play. At one point the Dorchester native was riding a 10 match win streak, which helped the Beacons to key wins over Worcester State University and Western Connecticut State University.
Wendy Steinman (Dudley, MA) has also been solid at third and fourth flights as she closed out the year with a 7-7 record overall (2-6 LEC). MaKenna Arrigo (Yarmouth Port, MA) has also made a significant contribution to this season, posting a 5-8 record to help keep the Beacons in the hunt for a postseason berth.
In doubles play it was has been the duo of Arrigo and Kloczewiak that has led the way at first flight, as they two recorded a record of 8-5, 4-4 in the LEC. Samantha Counts (Bridgewater, MA) and Nguyen also closed out the fall season with a winning record in doubles, as the duo earned a 5-3 mark, and 3-3 record in the Little East.
Katherine Perkins (Dennis, MA) and Steinman also had a strong season with their 2-1 record against conference opponents.
For the Panthers Sara Burke has been their top singles player with her 9-4 record overall. Against conference opponents Burke was nearly perfect as she ended the year with a 7-1 record. Plymouth State also had four other players finish the 2011 season with winning records. Molly Heartfield, Elizabeth Silsby, and Cheyenne Lessard each ended their regular season with seven wins. Lydia Smith posted six singles victories, and Megan Cooper notched five during her 2011 campaign. As a team Burke and Heartfield led the Panthers with a 7-5 record, 6-2 in LEC play.
The winner of tomorrow's match will then face the second seeded, Vikings of Salem State University on Thursday at Salem State. Start time will be announced on Wednesday.