By Kunaal Murthy
Whenever a team can win two important matches in a row, it greatly boosts the confidence of everyone on the roster. That is just what happened with the women’s tennis team after they won a hard-fought match, 5-4, against Merrimack and then carried that hot streak into the next match, overwhelming Saint Anslem 7-2.
The win over Merrimack was crucial, as it was a conference match and put the Falcons at a 5-4 record in the NE-10. The three doubles matches at the start of the day proved to be very important. Bentley won two out of the three matches, taking a 2-1 lead going into the singles matches. Catherine Gianino and Brittani Hetyei won their match 8-6. The pair of juniors overcame a slow start as they went down early 5-2. However, their resilience was shown on a grand stage as they battled back to defeat Rachel Muller and Mackenzie Blair of Merrimack.
Bentley’s number three doubles won with relative ease, as Melanie Scott and Lexi Hinrichs won 8-3. The 6 singles matches were as close as they could have possibly been. Bentley and Merrimack split the 6 matches, with Bentley’s No.3, No.4 and No.6 seeds winning. None of the 6 matches were forced to go to a deciding third set, with Bentley’s Susan Stowe not even allowing her opponent to win a single game as she won 6-0, 6-0. Hetyei was the day’s biggest winner as she won not only her doubles match, but also her singles match in the No. 4 spot 6-3, 6-0, defeating Danielle Dunn.
A couple days later in their final home match of the year, Bentley cruised past Saint Anslem 7-2, improving to 6-4 in the NE-10 conference. This match saw a couple different players on Bentley participate, as sophomore Kayla Anghinetti was paired with Susan Stowe in the No.3 doubles match, winning 8-4.
Additionally, in the No.6 singles match Jill Kamphaus of Bentley beat Saint Anslem’s April Regan 6-1, 6-2. Gianino and Hetyei were paired up again the No.2 doubles match and their chemistry showed as they won 8-2. Not only did they win the doubles match, both of them won their singles matches as well. Gianno won her match easily by a score of 6-2, 6-0, while Hetyei won her match 6-0, 6-1. All in all, it was a dominating performance by the team.
Unfortunately, the team ended the year on a rough note with two straight losses to Southern New Hampshire and Stonehill, losing 9-0 and 8-1 respectively. In the six singles matches against SNHU, Bentley had little success as all of the players went down in straight sets. In doubles, the #3 pair of Lexie Hinrichs and Melanie Scott found the most success, as they were able to win 3 games in the 8-game pro set. Against Stonehill, Bentley’s lone point came from the No.2 singles match from Catherine Gianino.
Stonehill finished with a 10-2 record and will face Assumption in the first round of the Northeast-10 playoffs. For the Falcons, they finished with a 6-6 record for the year.
The Falcons will try to regroup after such a disappointing ending to the fall season. The spring season begins in March as the team will travel down south to Florida to play against Florida Tech and then Eckerd a few days later. After that 2-game stretch, the team will return home for good with three home matches in a row to finish out the spring season. The team will be facing a familiar foe in Brandeis on March 20.
In April, Bentley will be matched up against two other schools from Massachusetts. They first play Endicott College on April 12 and then five days later they close the season with a match against Simmons College. With such a promising team, the Falcons are poised for a playoff run!