Women’s Tennis Team Ends Season with Strong Performance at Region 19 Championship
At regionals, from left, Allyson Hing, Jasmin Clark, Rachel Desane (kneeling), Alexis McCray, Kayhima Win and Rachel Angelucci.
Rachel Desane, left, and Jasmine Clark reached the finals at no. 1 doubles.
West Windsor, N.J. – The women’s tennis team ended its 2016 season on a high note at the Region 19 Championship, which was held at Rowan College @ Gloucester Oct. 8 to 10. The Vikings fell just short of qualifying for the NJCAA Division III National Championship, finishing the tournament tied for third place with Northampton Community College. Only the top three teams qualify for nationals and, in the case of a tie, that third spot goes to the team with more wins in finals matches; Northampton had one win in finals match, while Mercer had none. And so the Vikings' season comes to a close.
While team members expressed their disappointment at being unable to move on to nationals, especially given the close results, Head Coach Marc Vecchiolla is extremely proud of his team’s overall efforts, particularly their performance at the region tournament.
“We performed really well last weekend. With a regular season record of 4-5, we were hoping to get the very best from each member of the team at the tournament and we succeeded. Every player contributed to the team’s point totals,” Vecchiolla said.
The Vikings had three players reach finals matches in their flights. Freshman Allyson Hing reached the finals at no. 4 singles, while the sophomore doubles pair of Jasmine Clark and Rachel Desane reached the finals at no. 1 doubles. The duo advanced to finals following an exciting semifinal match in which they upset the second-seeded team from Northampton 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 .
Based on their performances, Clark, Desane and Hing all earned Second Team All-Region 19 honors.
The first round of the championship on Oct. 8 helped put the Vikings into contention. Players in five of the team’s six singles flights won their first matches. In addition to Desane and Hing, sophomore Kayhima Win won at no. 3 singles, freshman Alexis McCray at no. 5 singles, and freshman Rachel Angelucci at no. 6 singles. All that winning put Mercer in third place heading into the final day of the tournament.
Looking back on the season, Coach Vecchiolla has nothing but praise for this team. “This was a wonderful group of women. Every player showed a strong commitment to improving her game every day. As a team, they were a motivated, cohesive unit. They exhibited good sportsmanship and were excellent representatives for Mercer. The coaching staff will miss those who are moving on, which include the top three players on our roster.”
Vecchiolla was assisted this season by Ralph Bencivengo and Barb Pleva.
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