SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Despite securing the doubles point, the #3 Bryant University women's tennis team fell to #2 LIU Brooklyn, 4-1, in the Northeast Conference Semifinals Friday afternoon in West Windsor, N.J.
After a strong showing in the doubles competition, the Blackbirds regrouped in singles play, going on to win four of the six matches to earn a berth in the NEC Finals.
In doubles action, freshmen Marion Bouillin (San Diego, Calif.) and Briana Leonard (Westford, Mass.) blanked Katya Yegoreychenko and Isabella Wagener, 8-0, to get things started for the Bulldogs. Soon after, the tandem of Rosie Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Ryan Brown (Austin, Texas) took down Sanna Louwers and Lisa Maas, 8-2, to put Bryant up 1-0 on the day.
However, the Black and Gold were just unable to harness the doubles momentum into points during singles play as LIU flexed its muscles en route to four-straight wins. At the 3 spot, Bird suffered her first loss of the tournament, falling to Marine Dans, 6-0, 6-1, while Leonard fell to Nancy Zonneveld, 6-2, 6-1. Devlin-Ann Ammendola (Massapequa, N.Y.) put up a fight in her first set vs. Wagener but was overmatched in the second, falling 6-3, 6-1, which knotted the score, 3-3. At no. 1 singles, Bouillin jumped out to an early lead but was eventually caught and jumped by Louwers, who clinched the victory for the Blackbirds, 6-4, 7-5.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs put together a terrific season, winning their first-ever Division I postseason match after earning its highest regular season finish in DI program history. With a strong nucleus returning in the fall, this Bryant squad is primed to make another run at the NEC Title in 2015.
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