Bison draw Ithaca in NCAA First Round

DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College women's tennis will take on Ithaca in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. on Friday at a time to be announced.

The Bison (16-3) swept Endicott College 5-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship to earn their second trip to the NCAA Tournament in program-history.

"I'm really excited about the way the draws shook out for our team. Ithaca represents a unique challenge," said Nichols head coach Paul Brower. "They are a very talented team and on paper this should be a very competitive match. Coach Austin is an institution at Ithaca and I look forward to our teams competing."

Nichols is led by CCC Player and Rookie of the year freshman Amarie Settiwongse (Bangkok, Thailand) who is 16-3 in singles and 13-10 in doubles. She was named CCC First Team in both singles and doubles along with partner Danielle Mandel (Fair Lawn, N.J.). Freshman Megan Nathanson (Scarborough, Maine) and junior Daniela Saldarriaga (Medellin, Colombia) were named CCC Third Team-Singles while the duo of senior captain Cristina Szepanski (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and freshman Lindsey Kaplan (Boca Raton, Fla.) earned a spot on the CCC Third Team-Doubles.

Both Szepanski and Kaplan have set the program record for doubles wins in a season with 21.

The Bombers (13-7) punched their ticket into the NCAA Tournament by defeating Stevens in the Empire 8 Conference Championship. The championship marked the 14th since head coach Bill Austin took control of the program in 2000. Ithaca are making its 11th-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

This will be the first meeting all-time between the Bison and the Bombers.

The last time the Bison made the NCAA Tournament was in 2011 when Nichols fell 5-1 to Wheaton (MA) at Williams College.

"All and all I am excited for our seniors on both sides. People like Smitty, Cristina, Jake and others deserve to go out fighting at the highest level and this year both teams have that opportunity," said Brower. "It's been an amazing year and I am truly proud of these teams."

The winner of Friday's match will play the regional host Tufts (14-6) on Saturday at a time to be announced.