Junior Victoria Barbetta headlines the Skyhawks returnees.
Skyhawks ranked second in preseason coaches' poll
EASTON, Mass. (August 29, 2016) – The Stonehill College women's tennis program has been picked second in the Northeast-10 Conference's preseason poll by the league's 13 head coaches.
Stonehill collected 127 points with four first place votes, trailing just defending Northeast-10 champions Adelphi University's 136 points and six first place votes. Southern New Hampshire University is tied for second in the preseason poll with the Skyhawks with 127 points, receiving two first place votes. Merrimack College (103 points) is ranked fourth, while Bentley University (96) rounds out the top five and picked up the remaining first place vote, just a point ahead of sixth place Le Moyne College (95).
Stonehill, ranked sixth in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II East Regional rankings posted in June, returns six letterwinners, but just three regular members of its lineup from last year's squad that finished with a 15-10 record overall, including 10-2 in the Northeast-10, reaching the NE-10 title match for the second straight year and earning the program's tenth NCAA Tournament bid. Third year head coach Marc Maloney will look to a talented group of four freshmen to breathe new life into a team which graduated four in May.
Junior Victoria Barbetta (Wesley Chapel, Florida/Saddlebrook Prep) leads Stonehill's list of returnees after earning All-Northeast-10 first team honors at No. 3 singles and second team honors at No. 2 doubles last season. She received Stonehill's Female "Breakout Sophomore" Award at the College's end of the year awards night and finished her second collegiate season with a 40-10 combined record in singles and doubles play. Barbetta was 22-3 in singles matches, winning all 11 of her NE-10 matches, to go with an 18-7 doubles mark with three different playing partners.
Junior Emma Prinos was a first team All-NE-10 performer last season. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)
Barbetta has been selected as one of three captains for this year's squad along with lone senior Amanda DePasquale (Londonderry, New Hampshire/Londonderry) and junior Janet Haas (Northbridge, Massachusetts/Northbridge). DePasquale hasn't lost a match in limited play in the NE-10 with a combined 10-0 career record in singles and doubles play, posting a 4-0 singles mark and 6-0 doubles. She is 13-5 for her career in doubles matches overall. Haas was a combined 7-4 in singles and doubles play in 2015-16, posting a 5-3 singles mark and winning both of her NE-10 matches.
Junior Emma Prinos (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Foxboro) and sophomore Nicole Downey (Groveland, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) round out Stonehill's returnees in the lineup. Prinos earned All-Northeast-10 first team honors at No. 4 singles last fall, finishing the year with a 13-7 singles record, including 8-1 in league play. Downey was an All-NE-10 third team performer at No. 5 singles as a freshman, also earning All-Rookie Team status, before finishing the year with a 34-12 combined mark in singles and doubles play, winning the B-singles draw at the ITA East Regional. She finished 20-5 in singles play, including 7-1 in the NE-10, to go with a 14-7 doubles clip with seven different playing partners, including 9-1 in the NE-10.
Stonehill also welcomes back junior Colleen O'Donnell (Waterville, Maine/Waterville), a first team All-Northeast-10 performer at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles to go with a spot on the NE-10 All-Rookie Team in 2014-15. She finished the year with a combined 28-4 record in singles and doubles play, winning all 20 of her NE-10 matches, including a 12-2 singles mark (9-0 NE-10) and 16-2 doubles clip (11-0 NE-10).
Stonehill opens its 2016 fall season on Thursday with a non-conference matchup at Wellesley College at 5 p.m. The Skyhawks NE-10 opener is the following Wednesday, September 7, at rival Southern New Hampshire University, ranked seventh in the region, at 2 p.m. Stonehill's first home match is Friday, September 9, when it hosts Bentley University for its Purple & White Match on Charles Watt Tennis Courts at 6 p.m.
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