West Hartford, Conn - The University of Saint Joseph tennis team dropped its Great Northeast Athletic Conference opener to the Simmons College Sharks at home on Saturday by a score of 7-2. With the loss, the Blue Jays drop their second straight contest and fall to 1-2 overall on the season and 0-1 in GNAC play. Simmons improves to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in conference action with the victory.
The Sharks jumped out to quick 3-0 lead on the afternoon after sweeping all three doubles matches. Sharks' first year Jessica Schroedl (Staatsburg, NY/Franklin Delano Roosevelt) combined with junior Olivia Lakes (Dorchester, MA/Boston Latin) to earn an 8-5 victory over senior Rebecca Mauri (Meriden, CT/Platt) and sophomore Lucy Roberge (Willington, CT/E.O. Smith) at No. 1 doubles in the eight-game pro-set format.
Schroedl later added her first career singles win at the collegiate level with a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Mauri at No. 1 singles to give Simmons a 4-0 dual match lead. Lakes then followed with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph at No. 4 singles over USJ sophomore Ashley Savino (Old Saybrook, CT/Old Saybrook) to clinch the match for the Sharks with the fifth point of the afternoon.
Freshman Nickie Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam/Saint Joseph Prep.) was also a two-time winner for Simmons. She paired with classmate Marissa Johnson (Norwell, MA/Norwell) for an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles over Savino and sophomore Sakinah Abdulsalam (Bristol, CT/Bristol Eastern). Nguyen then played to a 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles over Roberge to increase the Sharks' advantage to 7-0.
Junior Mary Matthews (Wakefield, RI/South Kingstown) and sophomore Michelle Medici (South Portland, ME/South Portland) opened the dual match with an 8-0 win at No. 3 doubles for Simmons over sophomore Leah Nguyen (West Hartford, CT/Conard) and freshman Domonique Carnot (Meriden, CT/Maloney). Matthews later came back to take a 7-5, 6-2 victory at No. 6 singles over Nina Urso (Berlin, CT/Berlin).
USJ's junior Tara Smith (Palmer, MA/Palmer) put the Blue Jays on the board with a hard-fought, three-set win at No. 5 singles over Medici, winning the first set, 7-5, before Medici tied the match with a 6-4 decision. Smith then clinched the match with an 10-8 win in a super tie-breaker. Abdulsalam closed out the dual match for Saint Joseph with a 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) win at No. 3 singles over Johnson for the team's second point.
The Sharks return to the court on Tuesday, September 20 when they host conference foe Suffolk University for a 4:00 p.m. match at Daly Courts, while the Blue Jays head to Springfield, Mass. on September 22 to play Springfield College at 5:00 p.m.