Women's Tennis Concludes Memorable Season With Conference Championship Loss
Photo: UAlbany Women's Tennis set several program firsts on their way to the 2013 America East Conference Championship.
BALTIMORE, Md. – The University at Albany women’s tennis' season came to a close on Sunday, April 28, as they fell to Stony Brook University, 4-0, in the America East Championship Match. It was a season of historical proportions for the Great Danes, who earned its first trip to the championship and highest seed (No. 2) in DI program history.
The Seawolves took the matches’ first point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Senior Nini Lagvilava and sophomore Polina Movchan defeated the Great Dane duo of junior Rocio Lopez and sophomore Kirsten Scott at the No. 1 spot, 8-5. Stony Brook’s third team, sophomore Cassandra Dix and freshman Becky Shtilkind defeated freshman Mireille Hermans and sophomore Cheryl Kukkonen, 8-5.
The No. 1 seeded Seawolves continued into singles play with momentum. They won the first three singles matches to complete, clinching the match. At the No. 1 position Lagvilava defeated graduate student Irene Santos-Bravo, 6-0, 6-1. Movchan also won at the No. 2 position over Lopez, 6-2, 6-1.
Once the doubles point and then match point were clinched – remaining matches were suspended to save time.
The Great Danes were leading at the No. 2 doubles position, 5-3, before play ended. In singles, Scott defeated freshman Jackie Altansarnai in the first set, 6-2. She was trailing 3-2 in the second. Both Kukkonen and Hermans were tied, 5-5, in the second set.
“This match was much closer than 4-0. In fact, if we had gotten the doubles point, I believe we would have won," said head coach Gordon Graham. "Kirsten [Scott] was up a set at No. 3, and both Cheryl [Kukkonen] and Mireille [Hermans] had turned their matches around and actually had the momentum. We were in a position to take this match and just let opportunity slip through our grasp.”
UAlbany finishes the 2013 season with a 9-14 record. They concluded with three wins in America East play, the most in program history. They also defeated both Binghamton University and UMBC for the first time since moving to DI in 2002. Lopez finished win a team-high 16 dual single victories.
Stony Brook 4, Albany 0
1. Lagvilava/Movchan (SBU) def. Lopez/Scott (UA) 8-5
2. Altansarnai/Badoche (SBU) vs. Crummey/Santos-Bravo (UA) 3-5 (DNF)
3. Shtilkind/Dix (SBU) def. Hermans/Kukkonen (UA) 8-5
1. Lagvilava (SBU) def. Santos-Bravo (UA) 6-0, 6-1
2. Movchan (SBU) def. Lopez (UA) 6-2, 6-1
3. Altansarnai (SBU) vs. Scott (UA) 2-6, 3-2 (DNF)
4. Dix (SBU) def. Crummey (UA) 6-1, 6-2
5. Badoche (SBU) vs. Kukkonen (UA) 6-2, 5-5 (DNF)
6. Pike (SBU) vs. Hermans (UA) 6-2, 5-5 (DNF)