BOSTON, Mass. -- Senior Paola Rios (Miami, Fla.) was a double-winner for the Simmons University women's tennis team, but the squad was defeated, 6-3, by visiting Clark University this afternoon at Daly Courts in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks fall to 0-3 on the season, while the Cougars improve to 1-0 in their season opener.
Simmons opened the dual match with an 8-2 win at number two doubles, behind the play of seniors Michelle Medici (South Portland, Maine) and Rios, who defeated sophomore Elizabeth Garfield (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Anna Gates (North Scituate, R.I.).
Rios closed the dual match deficit to 4-2 with a 6-3, 6-1 straight set win for the Sharks over senior Maggie Tarbox (Lebanon, Conn.) at number four singles. Junior Kathryn Benson (Huston, Mass.) sealed the victory for Clark with a 6-2 win in the opening set and battled to a 7-6 (7-3) win in the second frame for a win at sixth singles over Simmons sophomore Carrie St. Peter (Chester, N.H.).
Junior Nickie Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam/St. Joseph Prep. (Mass.)) picked up the second singles victory for Simmons, defeating sophomore Jillian Skulsky (Marshfield, Mass.) in three sets. Nguyen opened the match with a 6-4 win at first singles, before Skulsky knotted the match at a set apiece following a 6-2 win in the second frame. Nguyen pulled out the third set, 10-6, to gain the singles win for the Sharks.
Senior Maggie Tarbox (Lebanon, Conn.) and sophomore Jillian Skulsky (Marshfield, Mass.) outlasted the Simmons junior tandem of Marissa Johnson (Norwell, Mass.) and Nguyen, 9-7 at first doubles, to tie the match at 1-1.
Sophomore Elizabeth Tchantouridze (Northfield, Vt.) posted a pair of wins on the day for Clark. Tchantouridze combined with junior Chloe Dunnell (Montclair, N.J.) to secure an 8-6 win at number three doubles over the Simmons first year pairing of Sarah Mariski (Portland, Maine) and Megan McKeever (Stamford, Conn.). Tchantouridze cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 win at fifth singles over Mariski to give the Cougars a 3-1 lead with the first singles win of the day.
Gates did not drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win over Johnson at number two singles, while Garfield defeated Medici at number three singles, 7-5, 6-4.
Simmons returns to the courts on Tuesday, September 11 when it heads to Dorchester, Mass. to take on University of Massachusetts Boston at 3:00 p.m., while Clark hosts Bridgewater State University on September 24 at 4:00 p.m.