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Women's tennis opens NECs on Thursday

Larry Levanti Photography
Larry Levanti Photography

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's tennis team will look to return to the Northeast Conference Championship round for the second straight season this week in New Jersey.

Bryant enters the weekend as the No. 3 seed and will open against sixth-seeded Wagner on Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs won the 2015 NEC Championship and have been to the championship round three times in program history.

After featuring a veteran lineup in 2018, the Black and Gold head into this weekend without a senior in their lineup but plenty of experience. The Bulldogs have gone 8-10 this year and split four NEC matches.

Leading the way for the Black and Gold this year is Arianna Oropeza (Weston, Fla.), the reigning NEC Rookie of the Year. Oropeza has won 15 matches in each of her first two seasons, posting a 15-8 record this year, including a 6-1 mark at No. 3 singles.

Joining Oropeza will be Ada Boru (Istanbul, Turkey), Megan Tan (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), Sarah Hickey (Toronto, Ont.), Aleksi Gottlieb (Plantation, Fla.), Leanne Kendall (Lakeville, Mass.) and Gabrielle Bergeron (Quebec, Canada). Boru has played primarily at No. 1 this year and went 2-1 against NEC opponents.

Tan and Gottlieb bring a good deal of experience to the Bryant lineup. Tan is 11-7 on the year, 6-2 at No. 4, while Gottlieb is 12-11 overall and 2-2 against league opponents. The two also team up in doubles and have gone 3-0 against league opponents.

Hickey and Kendall have both enjoyed solid rookie seasons, combining for 20 victories. Hickey is 9-12 on the year, while Kendall is 11-10 and went 3-1 against NEC teams. Hickey also teams with Boru to form Bryant's top doubles team, posting an 11-2 record in dual matches. Bergeron has done a great job in doubles for the Bulldogs this year, posting four wins.