Simmons Tennis captured the 2009 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Tennis Championship on Sunday, besting #2 seed Suffolk University 6-0 to take the title for the fifth time in six years. The GNAC Championship caps a perfect 8-0 conference record for the Sharks in 2009.
The Sharks' duo of freshman Sabrina Salmela (Beverly, Mass.) and junior captain Maile Macleod (Carlsbad, Calif.) was dominant in the #1 doubles position over Suffolk's Alex Hernandez and Lauren Cameron, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Maggie Taylor (Yarmouth, Maine) and sophomore Liza Pope (West Newbury, Mass.) quickly followed in the #2 spot with an 8-3 victory over Kelly Conrad and Rebecca Copeland to bring the score to 2-0.
Senior captain Jordan Borash (Marblehead, Mass.) and junior Katy Hallinan (Maynard, Mass.) finished strong with an 8-5 win over Celia Contreras and Brianna Koch at #3 doubles to increase Simmons' lead to 3-0, heading into the singles competition.
Hallinan produced a 6-0, 6-2, straight set win over Conrad to put the score at 4-0. Borash defeated Chloe Oldfather, 6-1, 6-2, at #6 to secure the Sharks' victory. Salmela finished shortly after with a dominating 6-1, 6-1 performance at #1.
"Overall, this was an amazing season," said Simmons Head Coach Bob Rauseo. "Not only did we have the best player and doubles team in the GNAC, we had the deepest team. We knew the Suffolk match would be entertaining, and it didn't disappoint. We played great defense and kept the errors down to take control of the match."
With the GNAC victory, the Sharks secure a spot in the spring 2010 NCAA tournament, to be held May 14-16. Simmons will play a preparation match against Smith College on April 24, 2010.