NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - The Simmons College women's tennis team defeated host Smith College, 7-2, this afternoon in Northampton, Mass. The Sharks improve to 8-5 on the season, while the Pioneers fall to 0-1 in their season opener.
Four players were double-winners on the day for Simmons. Sophomore Nickie Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam/Saint Joseph's Preparatory (Mass.)) teamed with classmate Marissa Johnson (Norwell, Mass.) to blank fellow sophomores Emma Essenmacher (Delran, N.J.) and Kara Van Allen (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 9-0, at number two doubles. Nguyen went on to pick up a victory at second singles, battling to a 7-6, 4-6, 10-4 win over sophomore Joanna Kim (Chicago, Ill.) and Johnson earned a singles win of her own at number three singles. The second year player squeezed out a 7-5 first set win, before cruising through the second set at 6-1 over Smith first year, Allison Ahern (Minneapolis, Minn.).
First year Celia Speth (Deerfield, Mass.) and junior Paola Rios (Miami, Fla.) were each double winners for the Sharks as well. The pair scored an easy 8-1 decision over Ahern and first year Talia Natoli (Los Angeles, Calif.) at number three doubles. Speth moved up to the number five spot in singles and took down Essenmacher, 6-3, 6-1, while Rios defeated Natoli, 6-2, 6-4 at number six singles for Simmons.
Junior Michelle Medici (South Portland, Maine) picked up a point for the Sharks, dropping just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Van Allen at number four singles.
The Pioneers earned points at first doubles and number one singles with Kim joining senior Samantha Peikes (West Hartford, Conn.) for an 8-4 win over Simmons sophomore Jessica Schroedl (Staatsburg, N.Y.) and senior Olivia Lakes (Dorchester, Mass.). Peikes carried that momentum into singles play, while downing Schroedl, 6-1, 6-3.
The Sharks return to action on Saturday, October 14 when they head to North Reading, Mass. to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Suffolk University at North Reading High School at 10:00 a.m., while the Pioneers head to Weston, Mass. tomorrow for a 4:30 p.m. match with Regis (Mass.).