Top 13 of 2013: #11 Women's Tennis Earns Playoff Spot With First-Ever Win Over Plymouth State
This is the third in our Top 13 of 2013 series. Every day for the rest of 2013, we will count down the Top 13 moments/games of the year, with each program represented. With three Little East Conference Titles, several huge upsets over nationally ranked teams and some dramatic finishes-2013 was another step forward for UMass Boston Athletics.
No team entered the 2013 fall season with more question marks than the Women's Tennis team. Eric Berg's squad featured just three familiar faces, to go along with six first-year collegiate players.
Not surprisingly, the Beacons struggled at points throughout the season and found themselves sitting in a tie for last-place in the Little East Conference at 0-5 with three conference matches to play.
That's when the Beacons season turned, captain Anitra Kloczewiak (Newton, Mass.) and LEC Rookie of the Year Nuha Muntasser (Braintree, Mass.) led UMB to back-to-back conference wins to put UMass Boston within one win of a playoff berth.
But it wouldn't be easy for the young squad, as they traveled to Plymouth State University on October 19th to take on a Panthers team desperate for a win of their own to make the playoffs. In fact, Plymouth State held a 12-0 advantage over UMass Boston and had won every match by a score of 6-3 or better in the all-time series.
UMass Boston immediately set the tone during doubles play, as the Beacons raced out to a 3-0 advantage behind a doubles sweep.
Captains Samantha Counts (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Kloczewiak picked up an 8-2 win at number one singles, while Muntasser and Solveig Castelli (Precojo, France) added an 8-5 win at second doubles. In the closest of the three matches, Kelsey Shea (West Bridgewater, Mass.) and Logan Smith (Southwick, Mass.) grabbed an 8-6 win to give the Beacons some breathing room.
The Beacons would clinch the victory behind their top two players, as Kloczewiak and Muntasser added one more victory to each to their impressive seasons.
Kloczewiak gave UMB a 4-0 edge with her program-record setting 22nd victory in a single-season, as she won 6-2, 6-1 at number two singles. Muntasser made the victory official, as she earned her 18th win of the year with a 6-2, 6-1 victory at top-flight singles.
The two wins were crucial for UMass Boston, as Plymouth State captured three of the final four singles matches in a desperate attempt to get back into the match.
With the victory, UMass Boston clinched their second trip to the Little East Conference Tournament in the past five years.