FLUSHING, N.Y. – For the sixth consecutive season, the Queens College women's tennis team took on the NYIT Bears in the finals of the East Coast Conference (ECC) Championship, with the Knights suffering their first defeat of the season, 5-4, from the QC Tennis Courts Saturday afternoon.
Queens, the top seed in the tournament, concludes the fall season with a 10-1 overall record, while third-seeded NYIT captured its sixth league title in a row.
The Knights battled back from a 2-1 deficit after doubles to tie the match up at 4-4 with wins at fourth, fifth and sixth singles. It came down to the No. 3 singles match, which went into a decisive third set, and the Bears came away victorious.
Sophomores Ruth Artaza Martin and Araceli Bel Aleixendri put Queens on the board first by earning an 8-3 win over Antonella Lopez and Rosa LaCorte at third doubles, as the Queens duo finished the fall season with a perfect 7-0 mark in dual matches.
NYIT's Alessia Rossetti and Kaitlin Byrnes then defeated senior Emy Alplund and sophomore Louisa Brunetti at the second flight, 8-3, to tie the match at 1-1. The Bears then took a 2-1 lead, as Lena Dimmer and Ivana Andric edged out Queens juniors Reehan Rashad and Laura Ortega Jover at top doubles, 8-5.
Aleixendri cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 sweep over LaCorte at No. 6 singles to tie the match once again, 2-2, finishing her season with a 6-0 dual match record. However, the Bears took a 4-2 lead after wins at the top two flights. Dimmer, the ECC Player of the Year, defeated Rashad, 6-1, 6-2, at first singles, while Rossetti claimed a 6-3, 6-3 win over Brunetti in the second spot.
The Knights stormed back though, picking up two more singles wins to even the match at four all. Alplund recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win over Byrnes at No. 4, while Artaza Martin picked up a 6-4, 6-2 win over Lopez in the fifth position.
That left Ortega Jover and Andric in the deciding match at third singles. Andric, the ECC Rookie of the Year, slipped by for a 6-4 win in the first set, but Ortega Jover battled back for a 6-3 win in the second set. However, Andric took the final set, 6-2, to seal the title for the Bears.
ECC Coach of the Year Alan Nagel's squad wraps up the fall after winning their first ECC Regular Season Championship since 2012, going 7-0 in ECC play, including their first win over NYIT in five years on Oct. 18.