WARRIORS DEFEAT PANTHERS, 5-3, RECORDS THIRD NORTHEAST-10 CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Northeast-10 Player and Rookie of the Year Grace Messina (Caracas, Venezuela) pulled out a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles, as first-seeded Merrimack College took a thrilling 5-3 decision over second-seeded Adelphi University in the final of the 2014 Northeast-10 Women's Tennis Championship Sunday at the Northeast Tennis Center.
The Warriors secured their first Northeast-10 title since 2002 and improved to 15-4 on the season. Senior Kara Hole (Portsmouth, R.I.) earned the NE-10 Championship's Most Valuable player while junior Shakee Messina (Caracas, Venezuela) and junior Rachel Muller (North Andover, Mass.) were named to the All-Championship team.
Score: #1 Merrimack 5, #2 Adelphi 3
Records: #1 Merrimack (15-4) | #2 Adelphi (13-8)
Location: Northeast Tennis Center | Middleton, Mass.
2014 Northeast-10 Championship Schedule/Results
Tuesday, April 22 – First Round
Match 1: #3 Stonehill 5, #6 Bentley 0
Match 2: #5 Southern New Hampshire 5, #4 Saint Michael's 0
Friday, April 25 – Semifinals
#5 Southern New Hampshire 3, #1 Merrimack 5
#3 Stonehill 1, #2 Adelphi 5
Sunday, April 27 – Championship
# 2 Adelphi 3, #1 Merrimack 5
How it Happened
The first match to finish came at No. 2 doubles, as an 8-2 win for junior Chealsey Giatrelis (Centerville, Mass.) and Hole over Charolette Moreau and Katarina Barborikova put the host on top, 1-0. However, the Panthers claimed both matches at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to take the lead heading into singles play.
G. Messina and S. Messina picked up the lost at No. 1 doubles while Muller and senior Alyx Barnes (Portsmouth, N.H.) picked up the loss at No. 3 doubles.
With the Panthers up 2-1, S. Messina prevailed at No. 3 singles with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Joanna Haich, tying the match at 2-2. Shortly after, Adelphi regained the lead (3-2) after Jennifer Ferguson picked up a 6-1, 7-6 win at No. 6 singles over Barnes.
Muller tied the match at 3-3 as the junior captured the four set, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), win over Taylor King. Merrimack continued its success on the court as Hole defeated Gaby Adia in four sets at No. 4, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-2, to give the Warriors the lead.
With only two matches left, G. Messina clinched the Warriors' third Northeast-10 Championship with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Charolette Moreau.
1. Charolette Moreau/Katarina Barborikova (ADE) def. Grace Messina/Shakee Messina (MER) 8-4
2. Chealsey Giatrelis/Kara Hole (MER) def. Taylor King/Jennifer Ferguson (ADE) 8-2
3. Rachel Muller/Alyx Barnes (MER) def. Joanna Haich/Gaby Adia (ADE) 8-3
1. Grace Messina (MER) def. Charolette Moreau (ADE) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
2. Katarina Barborikova (ADE) vs. Chealsey Giatrelis (MER) no result
3. Shakee Messina (MER) def. Joanna Haich (ADE) 7-5, 6-0
4. Kara Hole (MER) def. Gaby Adia (ADE) 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-2
5. Rachel Muller (MER) def. Taylor King (ADE) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)
6. Jennifer Ferguson (ADE) def. Alyx Barnes (MER) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
What they Said
" From day one it was our goal to win the NE-10 title and we set goals to help us accomplish it," said head coach Peter Arsenault. "I could not be prouder of the way the team pushed themselves throughout a long season to continue to improve. To win our first NE-10 Championship since 2002 is an amazing feeling and this team definitely deserved it."
The Warriors earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which will mark their second-ever appearance. Merrimack learns its ranking and opponent Monday night during the NCAA Selection Show at ncaa.com.