Barbetta (left) and Vo lead the Skyhawks list of returnees for 2017. (PHOTO BY Andy Meng/Stageshot Photography)
Skyhawks aim for second straight regular season NE10 title
EASTON, Mass. (August 18, 2017) – The Stonehill College women's tennis program is the preseason favorite to claim a second straight Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship, by being ranked No. 1 by the league's 13 head coaches the NE10 announced.
Stonehill collected 138 points and seven first place votes to top the NE10 preseason poll after claiming its seventh regular season championship last fall. Adelphi University, which edged the Skyhawks in the NE10 Championship match and NCAA Tournament first round last season, is picked second with 123 points and three first place votes, while Southern New Hampshire University (121) is ranked third and received the remaining three first place votes. Assumption College (109) is fourth in the preseason poll, with Merrimack College (95) rounding out the top five.
Stonehill, ranked sixth in the final Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II East Regional rankings posted last spring, returns nine letterwinners from last year's squad, which earned the program's 11th NCAA Tournament bid, including all six regulars from the starting lineup. Senior Victoria Barbetta (Wesley Chapel, Florida/Saddlebrook Prep) and sophomore Alexandra Vo (Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania/Nazareth Academy) lead the list of returnees for head coach Marc Maloney, who is entering his fourth season at the helm.
O'Donnell enters her senior year with a 36-2 career combined record in NE10 play.
Barbetta is a two-time All-NE10 performer for Stonehill that competed at No. 1 singles and doubles last season. She enters her senior season with an 85-24 (.780) career combined record in singles and doubles play for the Skyhawks, including a combined 52-15 mark in the NE10. Vo, the NE10 Rookie of the Year and a first team All-NE10 performer at No. 2 singles last season, finished her freshman year with a 17-2 record in singles play overall, including 12-0 in the NE10. She also posted a 12-9 mark in doubles play with four different playing partners, including 8-4 in the NE10.
Junior Nicole Downey (Groveland, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) returns and carries an 18-1 career singles record in NE10 play into the fall. She is a combined 59-23 (.720) in singles and doubles play over her career, including a combined 35-4 in NE10 matches, with a 34-8 career singles record. Senior Colleen O'Donnell (Waterville, Maine/Waterville) a two-time All-NE10 first team performer at No. 6 singles, anchors the bottom of the Skyhawks lineup, having won all 19 of her career NE10 singles matches. She is a combined 46-7 (.870) in singles and doubles play over her career overall, including 36-2 in NE10 matches, with a 24-2 career singles mark.
Senior Emma Prinos (Foxborough, Massachusetts/Foxborough) is a four-time All-NE10 performer over her career, with first team singles honors each of the last two seasons. She enters the fall with a 35-22 career singles record, including 25-4 in the NE10. Sophomores Annelise Howick (Jacksonville, Florida/Creekside) and Caroline Ray (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) will look to build off solid freshman seasons for the Skyhawks.
Stonehill opens its 2017 season when it hosts Wheaton College for a non-conference dual match on Saturday, September 9, at 6:30 p.m. The Skyhawks NE10 opener is the following Saturday, September 16, when they host Adelphi for an NCAA Tournament and NE10 Championship rematch at Charles Watt Tennis Courts at 3 p.m.
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