BOSTON, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph tennis team was defeated by the Simmons College Sharks, 7-2, in the Blue Jays' Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener on the road at Daly Courts in Brighton, Mass. on Wednesday afternoon. The Sharks win their third-straight match to improve to 3-2 overall, including 1-0 in league play, while the Blue Jays fall to 0-3 and 0-1.
Sophomores Nickie Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam) and Marissa Johnson (Norwell, Mass.) picked up the lone doubles win for Simmons, defeating the Saint Joseph junior tandem of Leah Nguyen (West Hartford, Conn.) and Lucy Roberge (Willington, Conn.) at first doubles, 8-3. Johnson later earned a 6-1, 6-3 win over the Blue Jays' Nguyen at second singles to give the Sharks a 4-2 dual match lead, before Nguyen locked up the deciding point for Simmons with a 6-3, 6-1 decision at number one singles over Roberge.
USJ took a 2-1 edge following doubles action with junior Ashley Savino (Old Saybrook, Conn.) and freshman Catherine Baum (Bolton, Conn.) combining for an 8-6 win at number two doubles over the Sharks' duo of junior Paola Rios (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Celia Speth (Deerfield, Mass.). The Blue Jays got a win at number three doubles to tie the match at 1-1 when freshman Emily McAllister (Bristol, Conn.) paired with sophomore Domonique Carnot (Meriden, Conn.) for an 8-2 tally over senior Olivia Lakes (Dorchester, Mass.) and junior Michelle Medici (South Portland, Maine).
Speth rebounded at singles play for Simmons by dropping just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 win at fourth singles over Baum. First year Elise Kenney (Orono, Maine) also picked up a straight set victory at number six over McAllister with a 6-2, 6-2 effort for her first collegiate triumph. Rios gutted out a three-set win at third singles after falling in the opening set 7-6 (9-7) to Savino. She came back to win the final two frames, 6-1 and 10-3 in a super-tiebreaker.
The final match of the night was at fifth singles where Sharks' freshman Gail Tynkov (Edison, N.J.) split the first two sets with Carnot. Tynkov won the first set, 6-3, before Carnot matched her in the second set by the same count. The two battled back and forth until Tynkov outlasted Carnot, 16-14, in the super-tiebreaking third set to gain her first career singles win at the collegiate level.
Simmons returns to the court on Saturday, Sept. 16 when it hosts Wentworth Institute of Technology on Daly Courts at 12:00 p.m., while the Blue Jays head to Leicester, Mass. on Sept. 19 for a 3:30 p.m. match at Becker College.