NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In an important late-season Northeast-10 Conference women's tennis match, Saint Michael's College downed the University of New Haven, 7-2, on Saturday at the Yale University Tennis Center. The victory, combined with other league action, moved the Purple Knights from sixth place in the conference into a tie for fifth in a league that takes its top six into the postseason. Saint Michael's is now 8-7 overall and 6-3 in the league, while the Chargers are 7-6 and 5-6.
The Purple Knights nearly swept doubles but still claimed a 2-1 edge heading into singles. Juniors Hannah Benoit (Mystic, Conn./Saint Bernard School) and Kayla Dowd (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) paired for just the third time in their careers, earning their first victory together in Benoit's doubles season debut, 8-1, at No. 3. Sophomore Erica Bundrick (Mattituck, N.Y/Mattituck) and first-year Nicole Kellogg (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) sided for the first time, also notching an 8-1 win in the second position. At No. 1 doubles, juniors Caroline Martin (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) and Caroline Toutoungi (Weston, Conn./Weston) fell by a narrow 8-6 count.
During singles play, Martin won 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3, Benoit was victorious 6-4, 6-0 in the fourth spot, and Toutoungi won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 5. Dowd picked up a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 triumph at No. 6, and Kellogg rallied for a 5-7, 6-2, 10-6 victory in the second position. Only Bundrick did not come out on top, falling by a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 count in the first spot.
The Purple Knights return home tomorrow to take on regionally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University at 1 p.m. The Penmen, who have qualified for the past five NCAA Tournaments, are eighth in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Region poll.