Women's tennis earns several postseason NEC accolades
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's tennis team earned Northeast Conference recognition on Wednesday afternoon, as doubles partners Claudia Hidalgo (Guayaquil, Ecuador) and Marcela Brandao (Santo Andre, Brazil) earned spots on the All-NEC First Team at the No. 2 doubles flight, while three more underclassmen were tabbed to the All-NEC Second Team, the league announced today.
After helping the team finish 11-6 on the year, including a perfect 4-0 in all four of its NEC dual matches, Hidalgo – the 2011 NEC Player of the Year – and Brandao proved to be a winning No. 2 doubles combination this spring for the Bulldogs. The duo went 7-3 on the year and did not lose in three matches against NEC opponents. Hidalgo has now earned two spots on the all-conference doubles team after earning a similar honor last season.
Moving to the All-NEC Second Team, the Bulldogs were well represented by their youthful lineup, as sophomore Stephanie Smyers (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and freshmen Devlin-Ann Ammendola (Garden City, N.Y.) and Rosie Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) all were honored for their strong play throughout the season. Earning a spot on the No. 5 Second Team slot, Smyers won nine of her 14 matches at the No. 5 singles flight this season and posted a 3-1 mark in league play. Bird, a two-time NEC Rookie of the Week and the reigning NEC Rookie of the Year in field hockey, won all three of her league matches in straight sets and was 9-2 on the year.
Rounding out the Bryant honorees are Ammendola and Bird, who were tabbed to the All-NEC Second Team in the No. 3 doubles flight. The duo burst onto the scene this spring after Bird joined the team after spending the fall on the Bryant field hockey team at #3 doubles. The two rookies won nine of their 12 matches, while finishing 3-0 versus conference foes.