BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Paola Rios (Miami, Fla.) overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third set to win in singles play and give the Simmons College women's tennis team a 5-4 dual match victory this afternoon over visiting Emerson College on Daly Courts in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks have won six of their last seven matches and improve to 6-3 on the season, while the Lions fall to 0-1 in their season opener.
The teams were tied at 4-4, before Rios scored the deciding victory at number five singles for the home team.
Rios won the first set, 6-3, before falling to Emerson's Jolin Cheng, 6-2, in the second frame. Jolin broke Rios' serve to take a 3-1 lead in the final set, before Rios reeled off three straight games, while breaking Cheng's serve twice, to take a 4-3 edge. Cheng regrouped to tie the set at 4-4, before Rios broke her opponent's serve again to go up, 5-4. Rios won the sixth game without dropping a point, to take the set, 6-4, and the match for Simmons.
The Lions took a 2-1 lead following doubles play.
Sophomore Sabrina Jacobs (Demarest, N.J.) and first year Meredith Stisser (Manchester, N.H.) earned an 8-5 victory at second doubles over the Sharks' sophomore tandem of Nickie Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam/Saint Joseph's Preparatory (Mass.)) and Marissa Johnson (Norwell, Mass.). Simmons knotted the match with an 8-6 win at third doubles, courtesy of first year Celia Speth (Deerfield, Mass.) and Rios over Cheng and Emerson first year Cassia Burns (Tewksbury, Mass.). The Lions took the final doubles match with the sophomore duo of Alex Weingarten (San Diego, Calif.) and Alisha Parikh (Los Altos, Calif.) scoring an 8-6 triumph at number one doubles over sophomore Jessica Schroedl (Staatsburg, N.Y.) and junior Olivia Lakes (Dorchester, Mass.).
Simmons won the first two singles matches of the day to take a 3-2 match lead. Speth dropped just three games in a 6-1, 6-2 win over first year Mackenzie Swaney (Old Lyme, Conn.) at sixth singles and Johnson lost just three games as well, en-route to a 6-2, 6-1 victory at third singles over Weingarten.
Emerson answered with wins at number one and two singles to reclaim the lead at 4-3. Parikh defeated Nguyen at second singles, 6-3, 6-1 and Jacobs fought past Schroedl at number one, 6-4, 6-3. Junior Michelle Medici (South Portland, Maine) cruised past Stisser in the first set with a 6-1 effort at number four singles for the Sharks, but Stisser rebounded to take the second frame, 6-3. Medici closed out the match with a dominant 6-0 showing in the third set to tie the match at 4-4 for Simmons.
The Sharks' lower part of the lineup continued their winning trend with number four through six singles all winning to improve their record to 18-3 over the last seven matches.
Simmons returns to action when it travels to Weston, Mass. to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Regis (Mass.) on Saturday, September 30 at 2:00 p.m., while the Lions compete at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Tournament in Williamstown, Mass. on September 29.