Mariski, McKeever Lead Tennis over Smith, 5-3

Simmons University tennis player Megan McKeever Class of 2022

BOSTON, Mass. -- The sophomore tandem of Sarah Mariski (Portand, Maine) and Megan McKeever (Stamford, Conn.) both earned a pair of wins on the day to lead the Simmons University women's tennis team over visiting Smith College, 5-3, this afternoon in a dual match played on Daly Courts in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks improve to 6-7 on the season, while the Pioneers fall to 0-3. The match was suspended with one singles match to play due to the threat of the EEE virus.

Mariski and McKeever combined for an 8-3 victory at second doubles over Smith junior Yena Li (Shenzh, China) and sophomore Elsa Hillis (Georgetown, Texas). McKeever won at fifth singles in straight sets to give Simmons a 5-1 lead and the deciding point of the match. She defeated Pioneers first year Joyce Lee (Beaverton, Ore., 6-1, 6-4. Mariski won her singles tilt at number four, just before McKeever, taking a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Smith senior Emma Essenmacher (Voorhees, N.J.).

The Sharks senior duo of Nickie Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam/Saint Joseph Preparatory (Mass.)) and Marissa Johnson (Norwell, Mass.) earned the first point of the match for the home squad with an 8-3 triumph at first doubles over senior Kara Van Allen (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and first year Ashley Felix (El Paso, Texas). The Pioneers battled to an 8-7 win at third doubles to get on the board and cut the deficit to 2-1 following doubles play. First year Joyce Lee (Beaverton, Ore.) and Steph Lopez put together the win for the visitors over Simmons junior Carrie St. Peter (Chester, N.H.) and first year Leah Bonis (Bath, Maine).

Bonis posted the Sharks other singles win with a three-set battle at third singles that saw her drop the opening set to Smith sophomore Betsy Hillier (Cohasset, Maine), 7-6 (4), before rebounding to win the next two frames, 6-2 and 10-5 in pro-set format. Junior Allison Ahern (Shoreview, Minn.) was a winner at number one singles for the Pioneers, taking down Nguyen in three sets. She dropped the first frame to her Simmons counterpart, 6-1, before regrouping to win the next two sets, 6-3, 6-3. First year Anna Maffa (Lexington, Mass.) won in straight sets over Sharks first year Libby Weed (Brooksville, Maine), 6-4, 6-1.

Johnson and Felix split the first two sets at number two doubles with Felix taking the first, 6-3, and Johnson winning the second, 7-5, before the match was suspended at 4-4 in the final frame due to an imposed time limit as a result of the threat of EEE.

The Sharks return to the courts on Saturday, October 12 when its hosts University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) on Daly Courts at 12:00 p.m., while Smith heads to Northampton, Mass. on October 11 for the first of three days of the New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament.