NJIT Crowned GWC Women's Tennis Champion
May 1, 2011
CHICAGO, Ill. - NJIT defeated North Dakota, 4-2, in Sunday's Great West Conference Tennis Championship finals to capture the conference crown. The championship, which was played at Chicago, Ill., was hosted by Chicago State.
The Highlanders were the No. 4 seed in the tournament and reached the championship match after sweeping host Chicago State, 4-0, in the quarterfinals, before upsetting top-seed Seattle, 4-0, to reach today's title match and claim the championship over the third-seeded Sioux.
NJIT started off the championship match earning the doubles point with victories at first and third doubles.
Nina Mayevska and Jana Luste, competing at first doubles, defeated North Dakota's Erin Kappers and Callie Ronkowski, 8-3.
Highlanders' duo Ana Lidon and Monika Graff were 8-4 winners at third doubles, downing North Dakota's Hallie Welk and Megan Sween.
UND got a doubles win from Stephanie Petsis and Stephanie Biehn, who defeated Ksenia Kuzmenko and Hannelore MacDonald, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles.
NJIT won the first three singles contests in straight sets to claim the title.
GWC Athlete and Newcomer of the Year Kuzmenko was a 6-3, 6-4 winner at first singles, topping Kappers. Mayevska followed with a 6-0, 6-4 victory at the second spot, while Graff combined for a 6-1, 6-3 victory at third singles.
North Dakota reached the GWC championship match for the second straight year after defeating South Dakota, 4-1, in Saturday's quarterfinals, and then picking up a 4-0 victory over UTPA in a repeat of last year's title match.
UND got its two points in Sunday's final at fifth and sixth singles. Biehn defeated Lidon in straight sets (6-2, 6-1) in No. 5 singles, while Chelsey Galipeau also used straight sets to defeat MacDonald, 6-3 and 6-1.
Sunday's match marked the second meeting of the season between the two schools. NJIT fell 5-2 to North Dakota during the team's Spring Break trip to Orlando, Florida, on March 15, but today's outcome turned out differently.
NJIT not only excels on the tennis court but also in the classroom as the Highlander women's tennis team has the highest team GPA among NJIT's 18 varsity sports.
The Highlanders finish the 2011 season with a 16-8 record, winning 12 of their last 13 matches, while North Dakota ends at 12-10.
Earlier Sunday, the tournament's top two seeds squared off for third place with No. 1 seed Seattle sweeping No. 2 seed and defending GWC champion Texas-Pan American, 4-0.
In a reversal of the previous day's match against NJIT, the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams for the Redhawks were victorious, clinching the first point for Seattle U. Gabriella Weissmann and Sarah Lucas defeated Wanda Beguelin and Dana Nazarova, 8-5, while Ariel Ohno and Anna Lambert posted an 8-5 win over Suncica Strkic and Blanca Garcia.
Weissmann also posted a victory at No. 3 singles, defeating Nazarova in straight sets (6-1, 6-2). At No. 2 singles, Katrina Schwab earned a straight-set victory over Beguelin, and Corinne Wurden defeated Garcia in the No. 6 singles position (6-2, 6-1).
Seattle University finished the 2011 dual match season with a 10-15 record, having won seven of its last eight contests.
All-Great West Conference Team
Monika Graff, NJIT
Ksenia Kuzmenko, NJIT
Dian Mayasari, CSU
Nina Mayevska, NJIT
Dana Nazarova, UTPA
Katrina Schwab, SU
Wanda Beguelin, UTPA
Stephanie Biehn, UND
Chelsey Galipeau, UND
Anna Lambert, SU
Shadi Soleymani, USD
Hallie Welk, UND
Newcomer of the Year - Ksenia Kuzmenko, NJIT
Coach of the Year - Mike Sowter, NJIT
Athlete of the Year - Ksenia Kuzmenko, NJIT