Women's tennis begins Lizzo era with victory at Franklin Pierce

RINDGE, N.H. - Four players, all underclassmen, were double winners on Sunday, and the regionally-ranked Saint Michael's College women's tennis team opened its season with a 7-2 victory at Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference play. The contest was the first for the Purple Knights under new head coach Kevin Lizzo '02, who also enters his ninth season coaching the men's squad. Saint Michael's is eighth in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Region poll, while the Ravens slipped to 0-5 overall and 0-5 in the league.

With three juniors who earned all-conference laurels in 2012-13 studying abroad this fall, sophomores and first-years played a hand in six of their team's seven points. Sophomore Erica Bundrick (Mattituck, N.Y./Mattituck), also an all-league honoree last year, sided with classmate Alexandra Sulkin (Ipswich, Mass./Ipswich) to win due to their opponents' retirement at No. 1 doubles, while first-years Nicole Kellogg (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) and Colleen O'Keefe (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) teamed for an 8-0 triumph at No. 3.

In the second position, senior Samantha Purnell (Stowe, Vt./Stowe) and sophomore newcomer Elizabeth Edwards (Islip, N.Y./Saint John the Baptist Diocesan) fell by a narrow 8-6 count.

During singles play, O'Keefe blanked her counterpart in the third spot, Kellogg dropped only one game at No. 1, and Purnell posted her first career singles victory in her initial appearance with a 6-0, 6-2 final at No. 6. Bundrick and Sulkin each yielded just three games in wins at No. 2 and 4, respectively, while Edwards won her opening set in the fifth position before dropping a 2-6, 6-2, 10-5 decision.

The Purple Knights complete their fall slate on Saturday at Le Moyne College with a 10 a.m. doubleheader that includes the men's team.