PLYMOUTH, N.H.—Plymouth State University won the final three singles matches of the day, to earn a thrilling 5-4 comeback win over UMass Boston women's tennis in a marathon match at the Bank of America Field House.
Plymouth State 5, UMass Boston 4
(UMass Boston 2-4, Little East 1-3)
(Plymouth State 7-3, Little East 4-2)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With the Beacons on the verge of a big upset, the Panthers earned a three-set victory at third singles and a win at fifth singles to put the spotlight on the final match of the day.
UMass Boston's Valeria Tueme (Bonney Lake, Wash.) took the opening set 7-5 at sixth singles, but Plymouth State's Megan Wheeler evened the match with a 6-3 second-set win. In the third and final set, the two players went back-and-forth, before Wheeler earned a 6-3 win to take the match 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 and earn the win for the Panthers.
The Beacons opened the match by grabbing each of the first two points.
Martina Daelli (Florence, Italy) and Tueme earned an 8-2 win at second doubles to start the match. Garcia and Gauthier quickly followed with an 8-3 victory at first doubles.
The Panthers kept themselves in the match with a big third doubles victory. Chloe Knapp and Alex Dunn earned the point by defeating Kathleen Conroy (Quincy, Mass.) and Meghan Erickson (Hubbardston, Mass.) 8-3.
Plymouth State briefly tied the match at 2-2, when Maggie McCarthy earned a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Daelli at second singles.
The Beacons answered right back though. Garcia kept her dominant start to the season going with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Sage Winter at first-flight singles.
Gauthier made it 4-2 Beacons with a huge win at fourth singles. The sophomore knocked off Kerstin Venincasa 7-5, 6-1.
It would be all Plymouth State University from there.
Irene Kigugu fought back from a first-set loss at third singles, to earn a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Conroy to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Knapp evened the match at 4-4, with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Erickson at fifth singles.
That set up a winner-take-all match at sixth singles, with Tueme and Wheeler still needing well over an hour to decide the final outcome.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Plymouth State improves to 15-2 all-time against the Beacons with the win. After losing the first 12 matchups by scores of 6-3 or larger, the Beacons are 2-3 in the last five meetings including today.
- Garcia moved into a tie for second-place in program history with her doubles win. She is deadlocked with former teammate Kelsey Shea ('17) with 28 career doubles wins.
- Gauthier earned her first singles victory since Opening Day and her first 2-0 match since the Beacons' opener.
- Garcia is one of two players in the Little East, who don't play for Rhode Island College, who are undefeated in singles play with at least five decisions. Garcia and UMass Dartmouth's Molina Oung (sixth singles) are both 6-0, while no other player (outside of RIC) has more than three wins in three matches.
UMass Boston is scheduled to host the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday afternoon 3:00 p.m. The Beacons are still working on playing a make-up match on Monday against an opponent to be announced.