No. 2 Seeded UAlbany Heads to UMBC for 2013 America East Championship Weekend
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The University at Albany women’s tennis team will begin their quest to become America East Champions this weekend at the UMBC Retriever Tennis Complex, Baltimore, Md. The 2013 conference tournament semifinal round features the No. 2 seeded Great Danes playing the No. 3 seeded host, UMBC, on Saturday, April 27. Match time is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
UAlbany (8-13, 3-2 AE) made history this season as they defeated Binghamton University and the Retrievers for the first time in DI history. The No. 2 seed is also the highest the Great Danes have held since joining the conference in 2002.
AT THE AMERICA EAST TOURNAMENT
Last season the No. 5 Great Danes were defeated by No. 4 seed and eventual champion Stony Brook, 4-1, in the conference quarterfinal round. UAlbany went on to defeat Hartford, 4-0, in the consolation bracket. They’ve never won a non-consolation match at the America East Tournament. Prior to this season, the team's highest seed was five.
POSTSEASON AGAINST UMBC
UMBC is 4-0 against the Great Danes in the two's America East Tournament history. They squared off three straight years, 2009-11, in the No. 4 v. No. 5 quarterfinal match. UMBC won each time, 5-0. In 2005, the two played for the first time in the postseason. A No. 3 v. No. 6 quaterfinal match, the Retrievers won 4-0.
LOPEZ LEADS GREAT DANES IN 2013
Junior Rocio Lopez has twice been named America East Player of the Week in 2013 on her way to a team-best 15-4 record in dual singles play. Last season, the Georgia Tech transfer was selected as the 2011-12 Team MVP and also honored to the America East All-Conference First Team. She claimed UAlbany's best record in both singles and doubles, 12-5 and 15-4, respectively.
WORLD-RANKED SPANIARD PROVIDES POSTSEASON LEADERSHIP
Graduate student Irene Santos-Bravo stepped up big in conference play this season. Against Binghamton, the Madrid, Spain native won at No. 2 doubles and at the No. 1 singles slot, earning a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win. Two days later, she won again at No. 1 singles against UMBC, 6-1, 6-3. A globally-recognized singles player, she has ranked as high as No. 18 in Spain and No. 443 in the world by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).
DUO TAKES DOUBLE DOMINATION TO UMBC
The duo of sophomore Kirsten Scott and Rocio Lopez have dominated this season. They finished the 2013 regular season with a 11-2 dual record, including 2-1 in America East play. They will represent the Great Danes at No. 1 singles as they take their success into the postseason. Both will also play within the top three singles spots.
DOUBLE-DIGIT VICTORIES FOR LOCAL FRESHMAN
Freshman Cat Crummey has stormed onto the scene for the Great Danes in 2013. A 2012 graduate of Shaker High School, Crummey posted the second-best dual singles record , 12-6, for UAlbany in 2013. She should play a big role in postseason play between No. 4 and No. 5 singles and at No. 3 doubles.
NEW YEAR; SAME FACES
UAlbany returns five of seven players from last season. They are led by Rocio Lopez who will play No. 1 singles for the Great Danes this season. They also return sophomores Cheryl Kukkonen, Kirsten Scott, Fran White and senior Sarah Iannone.
2013 TOURNEY DETAILS
No. 1 and defending champion Stony Brook will take on the winner of match between No. 4 Binghamton and No. 5 Hartford (10:00 a.m. Friday) in the first semifinal match at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 27. The championship match is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.