Bison defeat Ithaca 5-3 in NCAA First Round

BEVERLY, Mass. – The Nichols College women's tennis team defeated Ithaca College 5-3 in the NCAA First Round hosted by Tufts University at the Bass River Tennis Center.
The win marks the first NCAA Tournament win for a Nichols women's program in school history. The Bison's women's tennis team lost in the NCAA First Round to Wheaton (MA) back in 2011, while the field hockey team lost to MIT in 2009, and the women's soccer team fell to Tufts back in 2002.
The Bison got off to a great start as they swept the doubles matches. Senior captain Cristina Szepanski (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and freshman Lindsay Kaplan (Boca Raton, Fla.) extended their program record for doubles wins in a season to 22 as they defeated sophomore Taylor Ginestro (Syracuse, N.Y.) and senior Jodi Grosberg (Needham, Mass.) 8-3 at No. 3 doubles.
Freshman Amarie Settiwongse (Bangkok, Thailand) and junior Ashley Dallaire (East Bridgewater, Mass.) knocked off senior Haley Kusak (Pittsford, N.Y.) and sophomore Carolina Dunn (Fall River, Mass.) in the top flight, 8-5.
At No. 2 doubles junior Alanna Judd (Westborough, Mass.) and freshman Isabelle Leonardi (North Hampton, N.H.) took care of business against sophomore Kathryn Shaffer (Reading, Mass.) and freshman Brianna Ruback (Rivervale, N.J.), 8-4.
Judd continued her success on the singles side as she pushed the Bison's lead to 4-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles over Ruback.
The Bombers then made it interesting – taking the next three singles matches. Kusak knocked off Settiwongse in the top flight 6-4, 6-0 before Shaffer got the best of Leonardi in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Ginestro and Kaplan played tightly in the first set of No. 6 singles but ultimately it was the Bombers taking it 7-5, 6-2 to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Just as the wins for the Nichols men's tennis team in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Semifinal and Championship – the Bison clinched with a win at No. 4 singles.
Junior Daniela Saldarriaga (Medellin, Colombia) defeated Grosberg 6-3, 7-5 to punch the Bison's ticket into the NCAA Second Round.
Freshman Megan Nathanson (Scarborough, Maine) was leading at No. 3 singles over Dunn 6-3, 4-6, 3-2 before the overall match was clinched by Saldarriaga.
All-Time Series
This marked the first time these two schools have played each other with the Bison now leading the series at, 1-0.
Next Games
Ithaca (13-8) – season completed
Nichols (17-3) – Saturday, May 13 vs Tufts in NCAA Second Round, 10:00 a.m.