Category Archives: College Tennis

Why Division 2?

This is excerpted from an article I recently posted on Tennis Recruiting.  It is the second in a series of articles about college tennis that I am writing for the Tennis Recruiting web site.  To read the whole article go to:

or to the Tennis Recruiting Home Page and look under Headlines (September 24): (the article will be on the home page for a limited time).

– – – – – – – – – – 

Many people think of NCAA Division II athletics as a stepping stone that schools take when they want become Division I programs, but Division II is much more than that.

First of all, what are the requirements for a school to be D-II? They have to support a minimum of 10 sports, including at least four men’s programs and at least five women’s programs. Students must take 16 core courses – it was 14 core course until this year – and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. [1]

Division II’s philosophy calls for a comprehensive program of learning and development in a personal setting. Division II provides growth opportunities through academic achievement, learning in high-level athletics competition and development of societal attitudes in service to community. The balance and integration of these different areas of learning opportunity provide Division II student-athletes with a path to graduation while also cultivating a variety of skills and knowledge for life ahead. [4]

Mark Dolan – Le Moyne College

I have coached at all three levels. The Division II philosophy seems to be geared towards academics being first and foremost and yet we still have many of the same tools Division 1 possess.. In a way, the Division II mentality takes the best of the D-I and D-III and melds them together. For the potential student athlete that has made the decision that academics is first, Division II gives them the level of competition they desire and can be comfortable knowing that their academics will not be overly strained by their commitment to tennis.

 [1] – What does NCAA Division I, II or III mean?

[4] Barry University Web Page – Inside Athletics – About Division II

Read the whole article HERE


This is excerpted from an article I recently posted on Tennis Recruiting.  It is the first in a series of articles about college tennis that I am writing for the Tennis Recruiting web site.  To read the whole article go to:

or to the Tennis Recruiting Home Page: (the article will be on the home page for a limited time).

Dan Greenberg, coach of the national champion Williams College men’s tennis team, says, “‘When someone asks me, ‘Why D-III?,’ I honestly say, ‘Why not?'”

Greenberg continues:


Dan Greenberg of Williams
courtesy, Williams Athletics

“Financially, many schools in Division III can provide need- and merit-based aid that exceeds the money available for D-I athletic scholarships. D-III seems like a great option for the majority of high school athletes looking to take their games – and their lives – to the next level.”

Emory‘s Amy Bryant also comments:

“In Division III tennis there is something for everyone. With over 400 schools to choose from, there is a wide spectrum of levels and resources. But, generally speaking, in Division III athletics the overall student-athlete experience is emphasized. So, for example, a D-III student-athlete can typically study abroad, where in D-I or D-II an extended period away from training may be frowned upon.”

Lopez wins 10th match as UAlbany Falls to Presbyterian, 6-1

CLINTON, SC – The University at Albany women’s tennis team dropped their first match of three in Carolina this week. They were defeated by Presbyterian College, 6-1, on Tuesday, March 19. Junior Rocio Lopez got her team-leading 10th singles win of the season at the No. 2 spot.  


UAlbany (5-6) won the first match of the day at  No. 1 doubles. The combination of Lopez and sophomore Kirsten Scott continued their dominance, defeating the duo of sophomore Greer Ransom and freshman Haley Elliot, 8-1. The Lopez/Scott combo have won their last four matches by a score of 32-3.


The Blue Hose swept the remainder of doubles play. They clinched the first point at the No. 3 spot. Freshman Kayla Stanford and sophomore Caroline deLoach defeated freshman Mireille Hermans and senior Sarah Iannone, 8-5.


In singles play, Lopez improved to 10-2 with a thrilling three set victory over junior Courtney Gardiner. She won the match 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (12-10). Irene Santos-Bravo was defeated due to injury at the No. 1 spot. The Spaniard graduate student was tied 2-2 before the match was called.


Elsewhere, Iannone and freshman Cat Crummey each took their singles matches to three sets. Crummey was defeated by deLoach in a back-and-forth contest, 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-2). Presbyterian (7-8) clinched the match at the No. 3 singles spot as Scott lost to junior Patricia Alves, 6-4, 6-0.


Inclement weather moved today’s match from Monday to Tuesday. The schedule change gives the Great Danes less than a 24 hour turnaround as they head to the College of Charleston tomorrow. Match time is set for 2 p.m.


Presbyterian College 6, UAlbany 1


1. Rocio Lopez/Kirsten Scott (UA) def. RANSOM, Greer/ELLIOTT, Haley (PCW) 8-1

2. ALVES, Patricia/GARDINER, Courtney (PCW) def. Irene Santos-Bravo/Cathryn Crummey (UA) 8-6

3. deLOACH, Caroline/STANFORD, Kayla (PCW) def. Mireille Hermans/Sarah Iannone (ALBANY) 8-5 *

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2)

* Clinched doubles point



1. RANSOM, Greer (PCW) def. Irene Santos-Bravo (UA) 2-2 (ret.)

2. Rocio Lopez  (UA) def. GARDINER, Courtney (PCW) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (12-10)

3. ALVES, Patricia (PCW) def. Kirsten Scott (UA) 6-4, 6-0 $$

4. deLOACH, Caroline (PCW) def. Cathryn Crummey (UA) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-2)

5. LEAHY, Lucia (PCW) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 6-4, 6-0

6. STANFORD, Kayla (PCW) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (12-10)

Singles (1,5,3,4,6,2)                                                                                                                  

$$ Clinched match



(Latham, NY). The UAlbany women’s tennis team let victory slip through their fingers today, dropping a 4-3 decision to Sacred Heart at Tri-City Tennis and Fitness. Sarah Iannone just ‘refused to lose’ and was the only double winner for the Danes, taking #5 singles in straight sets, then teaming with co-captain Fran White to clinch the doubles point for the Danes at #3. Cat Crummey continued to compete well, pulling out a three-set win at #4. And the #1 doubles team of Rocio Lopez and Kirsten Scott steamrolled their opponents, 8-1.

The match was played in reverse order due to court availability, with singles going first, followed by doubles. The Danes grabbed early leads with Lopez (#1), Scott (#2), Crummey (#4) and Iannone (#5), and things were looking up for awhile. But the Pioneers top two singles players fought back strong and both earned key wins to put them over the top in singles, making the doubles matches a mere formality.

The Danes now turn their focus to their spring break trip where they play three teams in 10 days in South Carolina. The College of Charleston, nationally ranked as high as #61 earlier this season, will be a big challenge, and the other two teams (Presbyterian and Coastal Carolina) won’t be much easier. So, this promises to be a good test for the Danes as they prepare for April and what they hope will be a run at the AmericaEast championship.

Coach Graham: “This was a tough loss. Even though we were missing two starters, this was a winnable match.
Wish we had a ‘do-over’.
We will take a lesson from this and get better in practice, coach smarter, and compete tougher next time.”


1. Gabi Kaldan (SH) def. Rocio Lopez (UA) 6-3,6-4
2. Katie DeRienzo (SH) def. Kirsten Scott (UA) 1-6,6-1,6-3 $
3. Nicole Rydzewski (SH) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 6-3,6-4
4. Cat Crummey (UA) def. Paige Olson (SH) 6-1,3-6,6-4
5. Sarah Iannone (UA) def. Lindsey Post (SH) 6-4,6-4
6. Alyssa Migliorini (SH) def. Fran White (UA) 6-0,6-1
Order of finish: 6,1,3,5,4,2
$=Clinched match for Sacred Heart

1. Lopez-Scott (UA) def. Kaldan-Olson (SH) 8-1
2. DeRienzo-Post (SH) def. Crummey-Hermans (UA) 8-5
3. Iannone-White (UA) def. Rydzewski-Migliorini (SH) 8-5**
Order of finish: 1,3,2
**Clinched doubles point for UAlbany

UALBANY RECORDS: 5-6 (overall); 1-0 (America East)

NEXT MATCH: Monday, March 18, 2:30pm vs. PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE, Clinton, SC

NEXT HOME MATCH: Friday, April 5, 2:00 p.m. vs. BINGHAMTON @ Dutch Quad courts

UAlbany Tennis Wins First Conference Match of 2013 in Weekend Sweep

UAlbanyALBANY, N.Y. – The University at women’s tennis team won two matches in 14 hours to raise their record to 5-5 on Saturday, March 9. First they defeated crosstown rival Siena, 4-3, before winning their first America East Conference dual match against Hartford, 6-1. Junior Rocio Lopez and sophomore team co-captain Kirsten Scott went undefeated on the day, teaming up for two doubles victories and winning both of their singles matches. The No. 1 doubles duo has now won three straight.


SienaEventImageSiena: The Great Danes quickly dealt fatal blows to the Saints (2-3) No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams to take the doubles point.  Three of the singles matches were tough battles.  Graduate student Irene Santos fought off multiple set points and came back to win the first set. The Spaniard, Santos, led 2-1, in the second when Lopez clinched the match and Santos was pulled off for health reasons. 


Co-captain and sophomore Fran White nearly got her first win of the spring as she turned in a stellar performance at No. 6.  White played a solid first set, narrowly losing.


The Great Danes proceeded to romp Siena in the three singles matches needed to clinch the win. Scott got the win first, followed by freshman standout Cat Crummey and lastly was Lopez winning easily.


HartfordHartford: UAlbany (5-5, 1-0 AE) turned around after match one to battle Hartford at Tri-City Fitness. In their first America East dual match of 2013, the Great Danes were victorious. Their only losses were No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles due to default.


UAlbany went into doubles play with a default loss, therefore needing to win both matches to take the first point of the night. UAlbany took care of business as Lopez and Scott showed veteran leadership at the top spot. They shutout their opponent, 8-0. Crummey returned to the court from injury with freshman teammate Mireille Hermans defeated Jessica Galik and Hannah Goldman, 8-3, to clinch the first point.


In singles play, the Great Danes won their matches in order to cruise to victory. Lopez advanced to 9-1 in singles play on the season with a 6-2,6-2 win over Katina Zampas. Scott and Crummey, both recently off injury, also had strong performances. They won 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-1 respectively. Crummey clinched the match with the win.


“It was a long day, starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 10:30 p.m. It was a bit of a mental gut-check for everyone.” said coach Gordon Graham. “The team responded well with lots of positive energy. We will be fighting hard to keep that rolling.” 


The next match for the Great Danes is Wednesday, March 13 as they host the Sacred Heart Pioneers at Tri-City Fitness in Latham.  Match time is set for 2 p.m.


UALBANY  4   SIENA  3   (9:00 a.m. at Sportime, Schenectady, NY)

1. Lopez-Scott (UA) def. Macaluso-Byaz (S) 8-1
2. Santos-Hermans (UA) def. Varano-Singh (S) 8-3**
3. Benfer-Filip (S) def. White-Crummey (UA) 8-3
Order of finish: 1,2,3. (The rare “Sesame Street” finish.)
**=Clinched doubles point for UAlbany.
1. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Brittany Filip (S) 6-1,6-2$$
2. Maria Varano (S) def. Irene Santos (UA) 5-7,1-2 (ret.)
3. Kirsten Scott (UA) def. Allysa Singh (S) 6-1,3-2 (ret.)
4. Jessica Macaluso (S) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 6-4,6-4
5. Cat Crummey (UA) def. Cassie Byaz (S) 6-0,6-3
6. Erika Reagan (S) def. Fran White (UA) 6-4,6-7(5),1-0(3)
Order of finish: 3,5,1,2,6,4.
$$=Clinched match for UAlbany.
1. Lopez-Scott (UA) def Zampas-Beclz (H) 8-0
2. Hermans-Crummey (UA) def. Goldman-Galilz (H) 8-3**
3. Greenberg-Bennett (H) won by default
Order of finish: 3,1,2
**=Clinched doubles point for UAlbany
1. Lopez (UA) def. K. Zampas (H) 6-2,6-2
2. Scott (UA) def. H. Goldman (H) 6-1,6-0
3. Hermans (UA) def. C Beclz (H) 6-3,6-2
4. Crummey (UA) def. J. Galilz (H) 6-0,6-1$$
5. White (UA) def. C. Greenberg (H) 6-1,6-1
6. S. Bennett (H) won by default
Order of finish: 6,2,5,4,1,3
$$=Clinched match for UAlbany


UAlbany(Schenectady, NY)  UAlbany women’s tennis won the doubles point decisively, then had to battle from behind to take enough singles matches to clinch their first victory in over two weeks, downing a feisty Rhode Island team, 5-2.  Last year the Rams prevailed 6-1, so it was a sweet win today for the Danes.
The Danes dominated the #1 and #2 doubles matches, winning both by decisive margins.  Rocio Lopez and Kirsten Scott were first off, winning 8-2 at #1.  Close behind was the new pairing of Irene Santos and Mireille Hermans who triumphed 8-1 at #2.  Dane doubles #3, Sarah Iannone and Fran White, came so close before falling in a tiebreak 8-7 (4).
In singles, Santos and Hermans were separated from the other four matches because of the court assignments.  However, they turned out to be the only Danes who won their first sets.  On the other side of the club, Scott, Iannone and White all lost their first sets rather quickly and Lopez followed suit by losing an acrimonious, hotly-contested first set.  At this point things looked a bit tenuous for the Danes, and it soon got even more so as both White, and seconds later Iannone, lost their singles matches leaving  the Danes down 2-1 in total points, and down a set at #1 and #3.
But Lopez and Scott started to take control of their second sets, while Hermans dropped her second set and Santos was embroiled in a tight match as well.  The newest Dane, Santos, came from 5-3 down in the first to win 7-5,6-4 and pull the Danes even 2-2.  Co-captain Scott did a good job of turning her match around against a style of player that used to give her trouble.  But the Canadian sophomore showed good maturity.  She played patient, yet aggressive tennis to pull out the second and third sets and put the Danes ahead 3-2.
Hermans picked an opportune time to win her first singles match of the spring season, clinching the match.  After winning the first set 6-0, the freshman from the Netherlands fell behind 5-1 in the second set and rolled her ankle in the process.  She then fought back to 5-4, but lost the second.  She kept her momentum going, however, and took the third handily, 6-2, then celebrated with a big bear hug from assistant coach, Nicole Briceno.
Lopez got the Danes their 5th point with the unusual score of 6-7, 6-0, 6-1.  She was embroiled in a heated battle of tennis skills and extremely loud self-exhortation with her Ram opponent.  Although Lopez dropped the first set and may have lost the verbal battle as well, she won the war, which is what counts.   By taking complete control of the start of the second set, the junior Spaniard broke the spirit of her Ram opponent and rolled her 6-0,6-1 in the second and third sets.
This puts the Danes at 3-5 on the season, and more importantly gives a boost to their confidence.  Pulling out a close one like this is just what the doctor ordered.  And speaking of doctor’s orders…Cat Crummey recovered from her week-long bout of the flu to come cheer her team to victory accompanied by Cheryl Kukkonen who had her cast removed and hopes to be back playing in 10+ days.  Things are coming together for the Danes.
Next up is a rare DOUBLE-HEADER.  This coming Saturday they take on crosstown rival SIENA at 9:00 a.m. at Sportime in Schenectady.  Then that evening they play their first AmericaEast conference match of the season vs. HARTFORD at Tri-City in Latham at 7:00 p.m.
Coach Graham: “This was a good ‘team’ victory today.  We had several people step up in crunch time and pull out crucial wins for the team.  There was a point in the match at which we were definitely in a hole with the real possibility of losing this whole thing.  But Kirsten, Mireille and Rocio ALL pulled out three set wins!  It was an exciting match and a big confidence booster!  This will help propel us forward.”


1. Lopez-Scott (UA) def. Chernykh-Uy (URI) 8-2
2. Santos-Hermans (UA) def. Asokaraj-Wojciak (URI) 8-1**
3. Sadovnikova-Benoit (URI) def. Iannone-White (UA) 8-7(4)
Order of finish: 1,2,3
**Clinched doubles point for UAlbany
1. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Galina Chernykh (URI) 6-7(4), 6-0,6-1
2. Irene Santos (UA) def. Kathleen UY (URI) 7-5,6-4
3. Kirsten Scott (UA) def. Nithila Asokaraj (URI) 0-6,6-3,6-4
4. Mireille Hermans (UA) def. Karolina Wojciak (URI) 6-0,4-6,6-2 $$
5. Elizaveta Sadovnikova (URI) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-2,6-4
6. Lauren Benoit (URI) def. Fran White (UA) 6-3,6-2
Order of finish: 6,5,2,3,4,1.
$$=Clinched match for UAlbany.
UALBANY Records: 3-5 (overall); 0-0 (AmericaEast)
  • Saturday, March 9, 9:00 a.m. vs. SIENA @ Sportime, Schenectady, NY
  • Saturday, March 9, 7:00 p.m. vs. HARTFORD @ Tri-City, Latham, NY

Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Names 2013 ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame Inductees

876The Class of 2013 to be inducted on May 22 in Champaign, IL


SKILLMAN, NJ (Mar. 1) — The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced today the 2013 inductees for the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. The 2013 class consists of seven inductees: Coaches – Bobby Bayliss (University of Notre Dame), Dennis Emery (University of Kentucky), and John Peterson (Tyler Junior College); Players – Paul Goldstein (Stanford University), Kelly Jones (Pepperdine University), and Harold Solomon (Rice University); and Contributor – Alan Schwartz (Yale University). The 2013 honorees will be inducted at the 2013 ITA Men’s Collegiate Hall of Fame Enshrinement Banquet, which will be held on May 22 during the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL.


Bobby Bayliss, head men’s coach at the University of Notre Dame, will be retiring at the end of this season, ending a 26 season stint at the helm of the Fighting Irish men’s tennis program.  Entering his 43rd season as a Division I head coach, Bayliss owns 746 career victories, the most by any active tennis coach in the nation which also places him sixth among all-time tennis coaches.   He is a three-time ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year and was honored in 1992 as the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year after guiding the Fighting Irish to the NCAA finals. Bayliss also helped the United States win a gold medal at the World University Games in Sheffield, England in 1991.

Dennis Emery was a men’s head coach at two institutions during his 35 year career, spending 30 of those years at the University of Kentucky.  He finished his coaching career with 655 wins, 568 of those during his time with the Wildcats.  Emery guided Kentucky to two SEC championships (1992, 2012), finished in the Top 25 of the final ITA National Men’s Rankings 23 times, and led the Wildcats to 11 Sweet 16 and four Elite Eight appearances.  He was also honored as the SEC Coach of the Year on three occasions, the last coming in 2012.

John Peterson coached the men’s and women’s teams at Tyler Junior College from 1987 to 2011, finishing with an unprecedented 25 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tennis championships.  With 828 career wins, Peterson is already a member of both the NJCAA Men’s and Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame, the Texas Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame, and was named the Wilson/ITA Junior College National Coach of the Decade.


Paul Goldstein, a 1998 graduate of Stanford University, helped guide the Cardinal to the NCAA Team Championship each of his four seasons from 1995-98.  He was a four-time ITA All-American in doubles and an ITA All-American in singles.  In 1998, Goldstein reached the NCAA singles final and was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year.  He finished his collegiate career with 84 singles victories, fifth most in Stanford history, and three All-Pac-10 selections.  Goldstein is an ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award winner and is a two-time recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership.

Kelly Jones, a 1986 graduate of Pepperdine University, played for the Waves from 1983-86.  Jones was a three-time ITA All-American in doubles, an ITA All-American singles, and claimed two NCAA Doubles Championships in 1984 and 1985.  He also helped guide the Waves to an NCAA finals appearance in 1986.  Jones went on to have an outstanding professional career, reaching the mixed doubles final of Wimbledon in 1988, the men’s doubles final of both the Australian and US Open in 1992, and reached the No. 1 spot in the ATP Doubles Rankings.

Harold Solomon played at Rice University from 1971-72, earning ITA All-American honors before turning pro.  During his time at Rice, Solomon led the Owls to back-to-back Southwest Conference team championships, while also claiming the 1971 Southwest Conference singles title. In his professional career, Solomon was ranked as high as No. 5 in the world, won a total of 22 singles titles, and reached the finals of the 1976 French Open as well as the semifinals of the 1977 US Open. He was also a member of two winning U.S. Davis Cup teams in 1972 and 1978.  He would eventually go on to coach champion players Mary Jo Fernandez, Jim Courier, Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and Anna Kournikova, among others.


Alan Schwartz, the former Chairman of the Board & President of the USTA, has played an integral role in developing the growth of tennis throughout the years, and has always been highly supportive of collegiate tennis and the ITA.  He served two terms as the president of the National Indoor Tennis Association (NITA), from 1973-74 and again from 1978-79. Schwartz also co-founded the Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago, which is the largest indoor tennis club in the world.  Since 2003, Schwartz has represented the USTA internationally through the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is credited as the co-author of the National Tennis Ratings program.  A three-year letterman of his varsity team at Yale, Schwartz served as the captain of the team during his senior year.

About the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame 

The ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, housed at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex, was inaugurated in 1983 and has inducted more than 200 players, coaches and contributors. The ITA Hall of Fame museum displays over 2,000 rare photos and memorabilia.  Its members include the late Arthur Ashe (UCLA), Jimmy Connors (UCLA), John McEnroe (Stanford) and Coach Dick Gould (Stanford). The ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame is located at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. For a complete list of the Hall of Fame Inductees, please visit


The UAlbany women’s tennis team takes to the courts again this weekend.  Following the pattern of last weekend’s opposition, the Danes take on an Ivy League team on Saturday, followed the next day by a team that beat them 6-1 last year.

This weekend it is Cornell in Ithaca, NY, Saturday at 9:30a.m.  Then Sunday they take on the Univ. of Rhode Island at Sportime in Schenectady.
UAlbanyFor you hometown supporters, the URI match starts at 1:00 p.m and will likely go until 4:00 p.m., or later.  Sportime is a quick 15 min. drive west on I-90 to the first Schenectady exit, then west on Curry Rd.  An EASY DRIVE to see the DANES AVENGE last year’s 6-1 defeat.  And the viewing is excellent at Sportime!!
Coach Graham: “This is going to be an interesting pair of matches for us.  Cornell is another solid Ivy League team that will challenge us to play our best.  We will have to play with more consistency than we did last weekend and compete TOUGH.  URI is a team that somehow beat us last year, so I know we will be fired up for them.  Our healthy players are starting to play better, which is great to see.  Now we just need to get a couple of more players healthy!”
This Weekend’s Match Schedule:
  • Saturday, March 2, 9:30 a.m. vs. CORNELL at Ithaca, NY
  • Sunday, March 3, 1:00 p.m. vs. UNIV. of RHODE ISLAND at Sportime in Schenectady, NY


UAlbany(Hanover, NH).  UAlbany lost the doubles point, but put on a strong rally in the singles before falling just a few games short of beating the Rams, a team that got them 6-1 last year.  Rocio Lopez, Kirsten Scott and Irene Santos all pulled out singles wins for the Danes giving them three points in the top four singles spots.
Doubles went convincingly to the Rams as they dropped only nine games in the three matches.
Singles started after doubles and within 10 minutes the match had been evened at 1-1 as Santos’ opponent had to retire due to injury after one hard fought game in which Santos prevailed.  Fordham was a very deep team, and their #5 and #6 players showed that as they swept both Sarah Iannone and Fran White without dropping a game.  This put them on the edge of the team victory, leading 3-1
Now UA had to sweep the remaining singles to win. And they gave it a good go.  Scott toyed with her opponent, before putting her away 6-1,6-2.  In the meantime, Lopez and Hermans were both involved in tight matches that could have gone either way.  Hermans match went to her opponent 6-2,6-3, clinching the team match for the Rams.
Undaunted, Lopez battled to the limit in what was a hotly contested match at #2 singles.  Her Ram opponent had a nearly world-class backhand, but was vulnerable on the forehand wing.  Lopez found that opening and worked it, mixing in high balls out of her strike zone, knifing slices and occasional dropshots.  Lopez narrowly took the first set, only to have her opponent take the second set.  In the match tiebreaker for the third set, Lopez bolted to within a point, 9-4 , then watched as her opponent ran off three points to 9-7.  Then closed it out 10-7.
Coach Graham:  “This one WAS as close as the score.  We turned in a good singles performance after dropping the doubles point and nearly got it done today.  If Cat Crummey (out with the flu) had been in our lineup we would have won, I’m convinced.  But that said, we still could have pulled this out without her.  Santos, Scott and Lopez all won their singles. Lopez’ win was an entertaining match, one of the best UA matches in a long time.  The final score shows how much we have improved since our 6-1 loss to them last year.”


1. Simidian-Ali (F) def. Santos-Lopez (UA) 8-4
2. Genkina-Novacek (F) def. Hermans-Iannone (UA) 8-4*
3. Davu-Leong (F) def. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) 8-1
Order of finish: 3,2,1
*=Clinched doubles point for Fordham
1. Irene Santos (UA) def. Amy Simidian (F) 1-0, retired, injury
2. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Sarah Ali (F) 7-5,3-6,1-0 (7)
3. Angie Dabu (F) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 6-2,6-3 $
4. Kirsten Scott (UA) def. Bella Genkina (UA) 6-1,6-2
5. Julie Leong (F) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-0,6-0
6. Anika Novacek (F) def. Francine White (UA) 6-0,6-0
Order of finish: 1,5,6,4,3,2
$=Clinched match for Fordham

UALBANY RECORDS: 2-4 (overall); 0-0 (AmericaEast)
NEXT MATCH: Saturday, March 2, 9:30 a.m. at CORNELL
NEXT HOME MATCH: Sunday, March 3, 1:00 p.m. vs. RHODE ISLAND at Sportime, Schenectady, NY (15 min. from campus)

Weekend Recap: Lopez Improves to 5-1; UAlbany Drops Two in New Hampshire

UAlbanyHANOVER, NH – The University at Albany women’s tennis team traveled to New Hampshire to play two non-conference away matches last weekend. On Saturday, they competed against Dartmouth University, dropping the match, 7-0. Sunday’s match against Fordham proved to be much more competitive, yet the Great Danes fell just short, 4-3. Sophomore Cheryl Kukkonen made her season debut in No. 3 doubles play while juniorRocio Lopez improved to 5-1 on the season.


The Big Green, who have only one loss on the season to Boston College, improved to 6-1 over the weekend. They swept UAlbany, giving up only eight games in total,. They won all six singles matches in straight sets.


The freshman duo of Cat Crummey and Mireille Hermans took Dartmouth by surprise, winning the first three games of the match. However, Janet Liu and Christina Danosi of the Big Green took eight of the next nine games to win, 8-4.


In singles play, senior Sarah Iannone played a tough match at the No. 6 singles position. She took seven games from Danosi, losing 6-3, 6-4. Hermans managed to pull out five games – losing to Suzy Tan at the No. 4 spot, 6-3, 6-2.


On Sunday, UAlbany (2-4) turned their attention to Fordham. The Rams were also defeated by Dartmouth on Saturday, 6-1. This match proved to have a much more even playing field. The Great Danes showed much improvement after losing to Fordam, 6-1 last season. 


The Rams came out strong in doubles play – taking all three matches. The competition’s first point was clinched at the No. 2 spot with Crummey and Hermans falling to Bella Genkina and Anika Novacek, 8-4. The No. 1 doubles team, Spanish teammates Lopez and Irene Bravo, also took four games.


The Great Danes charged back in singles play. They took three matches, coming just one short of upsetting the Rams for the victory.


The match of the day came at the No. 2 spot with Lopez defeating Sarah Ali. The Georgia Tech transfer has been sensational for the Great Danes this season, alternating between the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 singles spots. Lopez took the first set, 7-5, but then dropped set two 3-6. This created a third set, take-all, scenario. The match went into a tiebreak after a 6-6 stalemate. Lopez took the match, 10-8.


Elsewhere, Kirsten Scott returned from injury to grab her second victory of the season. The sophomore defeated Bella Genkina at the No. 4 spot rather easily, 6-1, 6-2. Bravo, ranked No. 443 by the WTA in 2010, won her match due to injury of her opponent. Angie Dabo clinched the match for Fordham at the No. 3 singles spot. She defeated Hermans, 6-2, 6-3.


“We turned in a good singles performance after dropping the doubles point and nearly got it done against Fordham,” said head coach Gordon Graham. “Santos, Scott and Lopez all won their singles. Lopez’ win was an entertaining match, one of the best UA matches in a long time.  The final score shows how much we have improved since our 6-1 loss to them last year.”


The Great Danes will conclude their current four-match roadstand next weekend. They battle Cornell on Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y., match-time set for 9:30 a.m. On Sunday, UAlbany comes home to play Rhode Island at SPORTIME in Schenectady, N.Y. Match-time is set for 11:00 a.m.


UALBANY 0 DARTMOUTH 7 (Saturday, Feb. 23)


1. Okuda-Bessen (D) def. Lopez-Santos (UA) 8-3*
2. Liu-Danosi (D) def. Hermans-Crummey (UA) 8-4
3. Keong-Tan (D) def. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) 8-1
Order of finish: 3,1,2
*= Clinched doubles point for Dartmouth

1. Sarah Leonard (D) def. Rocio Lopez (UA) 6-2,6-0
2. Katherine Yah (D) def. Irene Santos (UA) 6-0,6-1
3. Melissa Matsuoka (D) def. Kirsten Scott (UA) 6-0,6-2
4. Suzy Tan (D) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 6-3,6-2
5. Julienne Keong (D) def. Cat Crummey (UA) 6-1,6-0
6. Christina Danosi (D) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-3,6-4
Order of finish: 2,5,1,3,4,6
$=Clinched match for Dartmouth


UAlbany(West Point, NY).  UAlbany started in a deep hole, down three of their starters and having to give away two matches due to lack of players to put in the lineup.  Still they came close to taking this match, much closer than the final score, 6-1, would indicate.  Rocio Lopez continued her unbeaten streak in singles with a straight sets win at #1. And the freshman duo of Mireille Hermans-Cat Crummey played perhaps their best doubles of the young season, winning 8-6 at #2 doubles.
UA very nearly won two more points: #1 doubles and #2 singles, which had they done so, would have put them only one match from victory…an amazing feat considering everybody was playing up one to three spots higher in the lineup than they normally would play.  At #1 doubles the newly-formed team of Lopez and Sarah Iannone battled gamely against a tough team.  Down 7-4, they came back to 7-6.  But the Quinnipiac team managed to hold on to close out the match and get the doubles point with two consecutive net cord winners; a highly improbable feat.   The other match that got away from the Danes was Hermans’

 singles match at #2.  Clearly the better player, Hermans led 6-3, 5-2 when her opponent started her charge.  Still the Dutch freshman got to match point at 5-4 and actually won that point, but generously did not call her opponent’s shot ‘out’ on the baseline, a shot that was a good 3-4″ long.
Next up for the Danes is a few days of practice and getting healthy in preparation for a couple of strong opponents on the road next weekend.  They travel to Dartmouth to take on a good Ivy League opponent on Saturday, then the next day play Fordham, a team that we felt we could have beaten last year.
On the health front, things are looking up for the Danes.  Co-captain Kirsten Scott is poised to get back on the courts, as is Irene Santos.  And sophomore Cheryl Kukkonen, on the shelf for a month with a broken left wrist, may be ready to start testing things out with a new cast.
Coach Graham: “This was a tough position for us, to be short so many players that we actually had to give away matches and have players playing much higher than usual.   But it was a good learning experience that will make us tougher in the future.  Rocio continues to play her exciting all-court game… and WIN!  Mireille is on the verge of breaking through in singles, and she and Cat took a big step forward in doubles today.  Sarah jumped from #3 doubles into the #1 doubles spot and played well.  And we kept spirits high!  We are going to start adding players back into the lineup and we’ll be fine.”


1.  Cantor-Viebrock (Q) def. Lopez-Iannone (UA) 8-6*
2.  Hermans-Crummey (UA) def. Chupa-Laurie (Q) 8-6
3.  Dassa-Suvna (Q) won by default
Order of finish: 3,2,1
*Clinched doubles point.

1.  Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Rachel Cantor (Q) 6-4, 6-3
2.  Sarah Viebrock (Q) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 3-6,7-6(6), 1-0(3)
3.  Michelle Dassa (Q) def. Cat Crummey (UA) 6-0,6-1
4.  Mary Chupa (Q) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-3.6-2
5.  Ariana Laurie (Q) def. Fran White (UA) 6-0.6-0$
6.  Erin Suvna (Q) won by default
Order of finish: 6,3,5,4,1,2
$Clinched match for Quinnipiac.
UALBANY Records: 2-2 (overall); 0-0 (AmericaEast)
Next matches: Sat., Feb. 23, 3:00 p.m. at Dartmouth
                       Sun., Feb. 24, 9:00 a.m. vs. Fordham @ Dartmouth
Next home match: Sun., March 3, 1:00 p.m. vs. RHODE ISLAND at Sportime in Schenectady

Siena Women’s Tennis Finds Time to Give Back

On Saturday, January 26 the Siena College women’s tennis team visited the Northeast Regional Food Bank in what has become in annual tradition of giving back to the community. During that visit the team took a guided tour of the facilities and learned how the facility functions day to day, and then helped stock the warehouse.

“It was a very gratifying day,” head coach Andy Christodoulou said. “We worked shoulder to shoulder with some other groups and made new friends.”

The Food Bank collects large donations of food and distributes it to charitable agencies serving the hungry and disadvantaged people in 23 counties. The Food Bank provides over 25 million pounds of food a year to 1,000 agencies.

The women’s tennis team’s responsibility was to get frozen meat from the walk-in freezer and separate it based on type (beef, pork, chicken, etc) in boxes of 40-pounds per box. These boxes were then shipped to various soup kitchens and other agencies that feed the hungry.

Photo Gallery

The Siena Saints are in action tomorrow in Ludlow, Mass for their dual season opening match against Bryant U. Good luck ladies!! #GOSAINTS

Jan. 31, 2013

Siena men’s tennis team is the MAAC coaches choice to finish fifth in the 7-team league, while the women were picked sixth of eight schools. The Marist men and Fairfield women were the coaches’ choice to win the league.

The Marist men topped the poll with 49 points. The Red Foxes, led by 15th-year head coach and 2012 Coach of the Year Tim Smith, return All-MAAC Player of the Year Lorenzo Rossi, All-MAAC Rookie of the Year Joseph Dube and All-MAAC First Team performers Dalen Klassen and Will Reznek. Fairfield finished second in the poll with 40 points, followed by Niagara (37), Saint Peter’s (25), Siena (20), Loyola (18) and Rider (8).

Jessica Macaluso

The Fairfield women, who won the MAAC Championship in 2012, received 61 points in the preseason poll. Fairfield is led by head coach Ed Paige and returns All-MAAC First Team selections of Monica Yajima, Sharissa Ryan, Carolina Koladzyn and Nikki Jackson. Yajima was named 2012 Player of the Year. Loyola was second (54), followed by Marist (53), Niagara (33), Saint Peter’s (31), Siena (29), Manhattan (19) and Rider (8).

The 2013 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships will take place at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey from April 27-28.


UAlbany(Albany, NY). UAlbany tennis pulled out the doubles point in thrilling fashion, then dominated the Stags in four of the six singles matches to move their record to 2-1 on the spring season.  This match was originally scheduled at Sportime, but was wiped out by winter storm Nemo and rescheduled to the the Danes’ home practice facility, affectionately known as ‘The Bubble’.
The Danes started slowly in doubles, falling behind in all three positions.  The new combo of Rocio Lopez and Irene Santos struggled out of the gate and fell behind 5-0, looking like they had never played together (which they hadn’t).  The momentum began to change UA’s way as the #3 team of Sarah Iannone and Fran White started to click, forged a lead and stayed ahead to win the match 8-6 in a well-played match.  #2 doubles, Cat Crummey and Mireille Hermans kept it close, but were behind on every changeover.  In the meantime, it was “Vamos” time at #1 as the Spaniards got it going, and charged back from 7-2 down to tie the match, 7-7.  Simultaneously the #2 team went into a tiebreak as well.  The #1’s came up short, losing their tiebreak 8-6 and putting the outcome on the shoulders of the freshmen, Crummey-Hermans.  The freshmen did not disappoint and came through with a solid tiebreak, winning it 7-5 to clinch the doubles point.
The Bubble affords only three match-worthy courts, so the top three singles matches went on, while 4,5 and 6 stayed on the sidelines to cheer.   The Danes rode the wave of momentum they had generated from the doubles and took all three first sets.  Lopez kept her winning streak alive by rolling over her Stag opponent in less than one hour.  Santos started slowly, then she too went on a roll to win her first match as a Great Dane, 6-3,6-2.  And Hermans, playing against a talented Stag at #1, played her even for two sets, winning the first 6-4 and coming so close in the second.  Hermans was down 5-4, but serving up 40-love, one point from evening the second set when Yajima kicked into another gear, closed out the second and just kept rolling through the third.  
Now the Danes were up 3-1 in matches won, and the 4,5 and 6 singles players took over.  What little hope the Stags had left was quickly dashed as Crummey blitzed her left-handed opponent 6-1,6-1 to close out the match for the Danes.  With the match clinched, the final two matches were switched to 8-game pro sets to speed up the finish.  Iannone played solidly and dismissed the Stags’ #5 player 8-5 for the Danes final point on the day.  At #6, White took awhile to get going, but for the last half of the match she showed the solid play that helped win a key doubles match earlier.  However, she was not able to overcome her opponent’s lead.
It wasn’t a ‘massacre’, but it was a good Valentine’s Day win for the Danes, their second of the early season over a team that beaten them last season.  Their record now stands at 2-1.
Next up for the squad is a social tennis venture: a “member-guest” mixer with members of the Sportime club in Schenectady, one of their two “home clubs”, tomorrow at 7pm.
Then Sunday they drive to West Point to play Quinnipiac at 2pm in Army’s indoor tennis center.
Coach Graham: “We had another good team effort today!  We didn’t start well in doubles, but all three teams picked up the energy level and aggressiveness to take charge.  Winning the doubles point was key to our overall team victory, and our #3 team of Iannone and White, who played their best yet, came through!  Then we just played some dominating singles.  A nice win in front of several UA staff and students, and others!”
1.  Yajima-Pirrello (F) def. Lopez-Santos (UA) 8-7 (6)
2. Hermans-Crummey (UA) def. Radde-Ryan (F) 8-7 (5)*
3.  Iannone-White (UA) def. Jackson-Jamson (F) 8-6
Order of finish: 3,1,2.
*=Clinched doubles point.

1. Monica Yajima (F) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 4-6,6-4,6-0
2. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Sharissa Ryan (F) 6-1,6-1
3. Irene Santos (UA) def. Alison Radde (F) 6-3,6-2
4. Cat Crummey (UA) def. Tori Pirello (F) 6-1,6-1$$
5. Sarah Iannone (UA) def. Nikki Jackson (F) 8-5
6. Emma Jamson (F) def. Francine White (UA) 8-3
Order of finish: 2,3,1,4,5,6
$$=Match clincher

Will any other top pro’s ever come out of Women’s College Tennis?

Robin AndersonBen Rothenberg – The New York Times Tennis Columnist writes:

Path to Pros in Tennis Rarely Crosses Campus

“CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Although she stands a foot and a half shorter, at 5 feet 3 inches, it seemed fair to wonder if Robin Anderson might one day become the John Isner of the women’s game.”

Robin – a USTA Eastern player – has played many tournaments in our area.  I rmember seeing her at the first National Open we held at Capital Region back in November of 2003.  Robin finished fourth.

The article points out that “no one in the current WTA top 100 played college tennis.”  John Isner, who played 4 years at Georgia is #16 on the Men’s Tour.

nderson, a sophomore who plays for U.C.L.A., blasted through her opposition at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I national women’s team indoor championship here this past weekend. Anderson won her first 22 games at the event, hitting powerful serves and ground strokes that might not be expected from a player her size.

“There are five women who played college tennis inside the top 200. Three of the four are rising quickly and have rankings that are career highs: the 2011 Southern California graduate Maria Sanchez is No. 114, the former Stanford player Mallory Burdette is No. 126, and the Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs is No. 199. No. 132 Julia Cohen, who has a career-high ranking of 97th, played at three different colleges. Irina Falconi, who spent two years at Georgia Tech, is ranked No. 140, down from a career-high No. 73 in 2011.”

Falconi is another USTA Eastern player.

Read the whole article – HERE

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