|MAAC Tournament Hopes End With Senior Day Loss|
FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. - The Manhattan College women's tennis team saw its hopes of qualifying for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament come to an end on Sunday, as the Jaspers (5-12, 2-4 MAAC) dropped a 4-3 decision to Niagara (7-12, 3-4 MAAC) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Prior to the match, Manhattan honored seniors Christina Ton (Milipitas, Calif.) and Hilary Valenzuela (Mesa, Ariz.).
The outcome of the match came down to No. 1 singles, where Lili Johnson (Tulsa, Okla.) squared off with Hilary Hansen. Johnson had a pair of set points at 6-5, 40-15 in the first set, but Hansen rallied to win the game and force a tiebreak, which she won by a 7-4 count. The second set was just as hotly contested. Johnson prevailed 7-5, sending the match to a decisive third set that would also determine the overall winner. Hansen held on for a 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 victory that clinched the match for Niagara.
Manhattan started the day by taking the doubles point. Johnson and Brianna Turano (Nutley, N.J.) posted an 8-2 win over Ashley Ta and Maria Ortiz at No. 1 doubles, while the Jaspers' No. 2 tandem of Valenzuela and Caitlin Bricketto (Coral Springs, Fla.) fell to Hansen and Iva Celan by the same margin. In the decisive No. 3 doubles match, the Jaspers clinched the doubles point when Ton and Alyssa Rosello (Garden City, N.Y.) rallied for an 8-5 win over Viki Sardellitti and Rachel Zilka.
At No. 2 singles, Ta topped Valenzuela by a score of 6-4, 6-3. Bricketto fell, 6-0, 6-1, to Celan in the No. 3 position, while Turano dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision against Ortiz at No. 4 singles. In a tight matchup at No. 5 singles, Stephanie Tsao (Scarsdale, N.Y.) notched a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Sardellitti. Rosello then evened the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jenna McCune at No. 6 singles, setting up the decisive contest between Johnson and Hansen.
With the loss, the Jaspers were eliminated from postseason contention. Manhattan wraps up the regular season by hosting Marist (7-7, 3-2 MAAC) at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.