Senior Amy Toegemann looks to lead the Skyhawks to a second NE-10 title during her career.
Skyhawks seek fourth-straight championship match appearance
Stonehill (14-4, 12-1 NE-10), ranked sixth in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, finished in a three way tie for first place in the NE-10 regular season standings with Adelphi University (16-3, 12-1 NE-10) and two-time defending champions Southern New Hampshire University (16-5, 12-1 NE-10), ranked 45th in the most recent ITA national rankings. The Skyhawks received the top seed by a draw after all other NE-10 tiebreaking procedures were exhausted. The three teams all went 1-1 against each other during the regular season, with each match score being 5-4.
Stonehill, which earned a share of its sixth NE-10 regular season championship, received a first round bye with the top seed. Saint Michael's (13-7, 10-3 NE-10), ranked ninth in the East Region, advanced to the semifinals for the 13th-straight year with a 5-0 sweep of fifth-seeded Bentley University in Wednesday's first round. Southern New Hampshire blanked sixth-seeded Merrimack College, 5-0, in yesterday's other first round clash. Stonehill and Saint Michael's share the Conference record with 13 tournament appearances. The NE-10 Championship will be played on Sunday, April 22, at the home court of the higher remaining seed at 1 p.m.
Stonehill, which won its first NE-10 regular season title since 2009, seeks its first tournament championship since that season as well when it captured the first tournament title in program history. The Skyhawks have reached the championship match six times overall, finishing as runners-up five times, including each of the last two seasons to Southern New Hampshire.
Senior Sarah Hickey has never lost to an NE-10 opponent in singles play and will play a key role in the middle of the Skyhawks lineup. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Stonehill is led by seniors Bacall Brooks (York, Maine/St. Thomas Aquinas), Sarah Hickey (Lee, Mass./Lee) and Amy Toegemann (Narragansett, R.I./The Lincoln School) who have been part of three-straight NE-10 tournament championship appearances heading into this week and were freshmen on the 2009 squad that won the regular season and tournament crowns before reaching the NCAA Division II Tournament's "Sweet 16." The Skyhawks have gone a combined 72-16 (.818), including a 48-3 (.941) mark in NE-10 matches, over their career.
Hickey finished with a perfect 35-0 record over her career in NE-10 singles matches, posting a 58-2 career singles mark after winning her first 48 singles matches in her career. She is a combined 20-5 in singles and doubles play this season, posting a 10-2 singles mark, including a 9-0 record in NE-10 matches. She and junior Paige Frost (Brigantine, N.J./Holy Spirit) have posted a 10-3 record at No. 1 doubles, including a 7-2 NE-10 mark.
Toegemann is 43-30 all-time in singles matches over her career, including a 31-13 NE-10 mark, to go with a 68-10 career doubles clip. Brooks is 27-9 in doubles play over her career, including a 19-2 mark in NE-10 matches.
Freshman Meryl Lawrence (North Scituate, R.I./Mount Saint Charles Academy) is a combined 32-4 in singles and doubles play in her first collegiate season. She is 18-2 in singles matches, including a 13-0 NE-10 mark, posting a 10-1 clip at No. 6 and going 5-0 at No. 5. She has posted a 14-2 overall doubles record, teaming up with Toegemann for a 5-0 mark of late at No. 3.
Juniors Emily Magee (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) and Alex Dalton (South Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) led Saint Michael's past Bentley on Wednesday with victories in both singles and doubles. Magee dropped just five games total in posting wins at No. 1 singles and doubles, while Dalton collected victories at No. 2 singles and doubles.
Freshman Hannah Benoit (Mystic, Conn./Saint Bernard School) has enjoyed a strong rookie season for Saint Michael's, posting a combined 17-8 record in singles and doubles play. She is 12-7 for singles, including a 10-3 mark in NE-10 matches, going 8-2 at No. 4. Dalton is a combined 15-10 in singles and doubles this year, going 9-5 in singles, including a 6-2 NE-10 clip. She is 6-4 overall in doubles play, including a 4-1 mark in NE-10 matches.
Stonehill posted a 7-2 victory over Saint Michael's in the regular season meeting between the two at the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex on April 1. Toegemann, Hickey, Frost and Lawrence were all double-winners to lead Stonehill to its seventh-straight win at the time. Junior Jean-Marie McGrath (Niwot, Colo./Alexander Dawson) and freshman Caroline Martin (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) combined to win a point for Saint Michael's at No. 2 doubles, while Dalton also won a point at No. 2 singles
Women's Tennis Championship
Wednesday, April 18 (at higher seeds)
#3 Southern New Hampshire 5, #6 Merrimack 0
#4 Saint Michael's 5, #5 Bentley 0
Friday, April 20 (at higher seeds)
#3 Southern New Hampshire (16-5, 12-1 NE-10) at #2 Adelphi (16-3, 12-1 NE-10), 2 p.m.
#4 Saint Michael's (13-7, 10-3 NE-10) at #1 Stonehill (14-4, 12-1 NE-10), 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 22 (at highest remaining seed)
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.