WestConn women's tennis team tops Plymouth State, advances to LEC semifinals
DANBURY -- Spared of the troublesome wind from three days earlier, Lauren Post and the Western Connecticut State University tennis team didn't take long to send home the same Plymouth State team that the Colonials edged by just a match on Saturday.
With Post's 6-1, 6-0 win over Sara Burke in No. 1 singles, Alyssa Hoynack's win over Laura Donovan 7-5, 6-1 in No. 2 singles, and a No. 1 doubles win from the both of them, WestConn beat the Panthers 5-2 in the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference tournament.
On Saturday, in the final match of each team's regular season, WestConn had beaten Plymouth State 5-4 to secure home court on Tuesday. In that match, four of the six singles matches went to three sets. On Tuesday, only one singles match went three sets.
"It came down to that the girls were in their exams, and they wanted to be at home," said WestConn coach Stacy Slater of the Colonials' motivation to win Saturday's match. "The girls love playing here."
Added Post, a Danbury High graduate, "(Winning on Saturday) definitely helped. It built confidence and showed us we could do it."
Post beat Burke on Tuesday with a strong forehand and backhand, and the agility to get in position to deliver both with accuracy.
"I think I just picked up on a lot of pointers, things in her game that I could take advantage of," said Post. "I had a little more control of my game, I was able to mix it up."
Post, who beat Burke 7-6 (9-7) and 6-4 on Saturday, is now 12-1 overall in singles matches.
"She had a lot more consistency," said Slater. "There was less wind -- both had to fight on Saturday. When she doesn't have to deal with the weather ailments, she seems to dominate. She's a smooth, confident player."
In the No. 1 doubles, Post and Hoynack led 7-4, but Plymouth State's Burke and Molly Heartfield cut it to 7-6 before WestConn put it away.
Post and Hoynack are now 10-1 overall as a doubles tandem. With her win over Donovan in singles, Hoynack improves to 10-1 this season.
"(Donovan) was consistent," said Hoynack. "I had to play to her consistency. To compensate I tried putting some more power on my shots."
Alison Mahony beat Rachel Figura 6-3, 6-4 in No. 3 singles, and Mahony and teammate Ashley Gorelik combined to win No. 2 singles 8-5. The No. 4 and No. 6 singles matches weren't completed because the Colonials had already won five matches before they had finished.
The Colonials will travel to play No. 1 seed UMass Dartmouth on Saturday in the semifinals. The Colonials were the only team to beat UMass this season, winning 6-3 on Sept. 25.
"We went into last season knowing Dartmouth was the team to beat and we did it," said Slater. "There's no reason we can't do it again."
SINGLES: 1. Lauren Post (W) def. Sara Burke 6-1, 6-0; 2. Alyssa Hoynack (W) def. Laura Donovan 7-5, 6-1; 3. Alison Mahony (W) def. Rachel Figura 6-3, 6-4; 4. Lydia Smith (P) vs. Ashley Gorelik (W) 2-6, 6-4, 1-2, retired; 5. Molly Heartfield (P) def. Elizabeth Bonacci 6-2, 6-1; 6. Jane Duggan (P) vs. Deobrah Ferreira (W) 5-7, 2-4, retired.
DOUBLES: 1. Post/Hoynack (W) def. Burke/Heartfield 8-6; 2. Mahony/Gorelik (W) def. Figura/Smith 8-5; 3. Donovan/Duggan (P) def. Maxx Zimmer/Liza Zanderigo 8-1
RECORDS: WestConn 9-4, Plymouth State 6-7.