NEW HAVEN, Conn. Ė A pair of champions will be crowned this weekend as the 20th America East Tennis Championship takes place Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26 at Yale University’s Tennis Center. Opening round play on both the men’s and women’s side will take place Friday with semifinal action being played Saturday. The finals are scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. with both conference champions receiving automatic bids to the NCAA Championships.
On the women’s side, 15-time defending champion Boston University will compete as the No. 1 seed, followed by Binghamton University, the second seed, and third-seeded Stony Brook University. UMBC, University at Albany and University of Hartford enter the championship seeded fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Leading the men’s field is Stony Brook University, who enter the Championship as the No. 1 seed. Chasing the Seawolves is second-seeded Binghamton University, the defending champion, and third-seeded UMBC. Rounding out the field is Boston University, seeded fourth, and University of Hartford as the fifth seed.
The Boston University women, which is ranked 62nd in the nation with a record of 13-5, is currently riding a four-match win streak with three of the victories coming against ranked teams. The Terriers have won 19 of the 20 America East Championships all-time, including the last 15, and will be seeking their 11th consecutive NCAA tournament berth. Freshman Stefanie Nunic has been a standout in her rookie season, earning a 4-6 record at No. 1 singles and a perfect 7-0 record in the No. 2 slot.
The Seawolves, the 2006 men’s champion, are seeded first after finishing the regular season with a 16-4 record. Jon Epstein has earned a 13-2 record in singles play this season, while Halvar Dil and Ivan Rummel have proved an impressive pair in No. 1 doubles, posting a 10-6 record. Winning their last eight matches, including conference victories over Binghamton, Hartford and UMBC, the Stony Brook men will hope to continue their streak into championship competition.
Binghamton’s women’s squad, which fell to Boston in the title match last year, enters the Championship with an impressive 16-3 record. Freshman Jillian Santos has had a stellar rookie season, compiling a 22-8 singles mark along with a 20-5 record in doubles action.
The Bearcat men will look to repeat at this year’s championship with the help of Gilbert Wong and Sven Vloedgraven, who have records of 30-7 and 23-9 in singles competition, respectively. After dropping their last regular season match to Stony Brook by a narrow 4-3 margin, the Bearcats find themselves as the No. 2 seed behind the Seawolves.
The Stony Brook women enter the championship as the third seed, riding a six-match winning streak as part of a 12-2 overall record this spring. As a team, the women have only lost two doubles matches all year and Anna Pieschl and Gayatri Krishnan are unbeaten in doubles play (3-0).
After winning the crown in 2007 and falling just short in the title match game in 2008, the UMBC men (11-7) will be hungry to return to the NCAA tournament this year. Boasting an 11-7 record this season in singles competition (9-7 at No. 1, 2-0 at No. 2) and a 15-3 record at No. 1 doubles, Nick Savage-Pollock will be a driving force for the Retrievers.
For the Retriever women (6-6), Carmen Jackman will need to continue her strong play in doubles competition throughout the tournament. Jackman, who is 9-3 in doubles (4-3 at No.1 and 5-0 at No. 2) and 7-3 in singles, leads UMBC in wins this season.
Boston U’s men's team finished the regular season with a 3-15 record and are coming off a 7-0 sweep against Holy Cross. Last year, they fell to eventual tournament champion Stony Brook in the semifinals after defeating New Hampshire. Jeff Chudacoff, a junior, has earned an 8-9 record at No. 1 singles this season, the most wins among the Terriers this spring.
After falling to Stony Brook in the first round of last year’s championship, Albany finishes the 2009 regular season with a 16-4 record and will look to bounce back after its five-match winning streak was snapped by conference rival Binghamton last weekend. Freshman Susan Ma has been a spark for the Great Danes this season, compiling a 10-5 record at No. 1 singles and a 3-0 record at the No. 3 position.
The fifth seed in last year’s championship, the Hartford men fell to Boston University, 4-0, in the opening round. A pair of rookies, Rickey Dove and Aneil Phalla, lead the team in doubles play, pairing up in the No. 1 slot and earning five wins.
In the midst of a three-match singles win streak, the longest among the University of Hartford women, Nikki Haynal leads the team in singles wins this year with six. The Hawks fell to third-seeded Binghamton in the first round of the Championship last year, 4-0.
Stay tuned to AmericaEast.com throughout the weekend for complete recaps and results from all the action.
America East Women’s Tennis Championship
April 25-27, Yale Tennis Center-- New Haven, Conn.
Friday, April 25
Match 1 -- Opening Round #4 UMBC vs. #5 Albany, 1 p.m.
Match 2 -- Opening Round #3 Stony Brook vs. #6 Hartford, 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 26
Match 3 -- Loser of Match 1 vs. Loser of Match 2, 1 p.m.
Match 4 -- Winner of Match 1 vs. #1 Boston U., 1 p.m.
Match 5 -- Winner of Match 2 vs. #2 Binghamton, 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 27
Match 6 -- Winner of Match 4 vs. Winner of Match 5 (Championship), 11 a.m.*
America East Men’s Tennis Championship
April 24-26, Yale Tennis Center-- New Haven, Conn.
Friday, April 25
Match 1 - Opening Round - #4 Boston University vs. #5 Hartford, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 26
Match 2-- #2 Binghamton vs. #3 UMBC, 10 a.m.
Match 2 -- Winner of Match 1 vs. #1 Stony Brook, 10 a.m.
Match 4 -- Loser of Match 2 vs. Loser Match 3, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 27
Match 5 -- Winner of Match 2 vs. Winner of Match 3 (Championship), 11 a.m.*
*Championship match times are subject to change by the games committee if there is a team that has a dual coach.
**In the event of inclement weather, match times will be adjusted as needed.
*** log on www.AmericaEast.com for schedule/venue changes