NEWTON, Mass. – First year Celia Speth (Deerfield, Mass.) and Paola Rios (Miami, Fla.) were both double-winners to lead the third-seeded Simmons College women's tennis team to a 5-1 victory over second-seeded Regis (Mass.) this afternoon in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Semifinals at the Winchester Indoor Tennis Center in Winchester, Mass.
The Sharks improve to 11-5 on the season and advance to their 14th straight conference title match, while the Pride fall to 7-4 in their inaugural season as a GNAC member. Simmons will play top-seeded Johnson & Wales University, which downed number four seed Suffolk University, 5-0. The teams will begin action tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at the Winchester Indoor Tennis Center.
The Sharks swept all three doubles matches to take a 3-0 lead into singles play. Speth and Rios did not drop a game in the pair's 8-0 victory at number three doubles over the Regis duo of sophomore Kailey Myers (Norwalk, Calif.) and first year Gracie Jarest (Wrentham, Mass.). Simmons increased its dual-match lead to 2-0 with a victory at number one doubles. Senior Olivia Lakes (Dorchester, Mass.) combined with sophomore Jessica Schroedl (Staatsburg, N.Y.) on an 8-6 win over the Pride's pairing of junior Katasha Jarvis (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) and first year Carly Donovan (Harwich, Mass.). The Sharks' sophomore combo of Nickie Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam/Saint Joseph Preparatory (Mass.)) and Marissa Johnson (Norwell, Mass.) rounded out doubles action with an 8-3 triumph on court two over senior Amy DiPace (Cambridge, Mass.) and sophomore Carly Scanlon (Canton, Mass.).
Regis got on the board with a win at first singles from Donovan, who dropped just two games in a 6-0, 6-2 effort over Schroedl.
Simmons turned to its strength, the lower part of their lineup, to gain the final two points to win the match. Speth and Rios each lost just one game in their respective singles matches. Speth defeated Myers, 6-1, 6-0, at number five singles to improve to 11-4 on the year as part of a 20-10 combined record, while Rios matched her doubles partner with a 6-1, 6-0 showing at sixth singles over Jarest to bump her singles record to 10-3.