Women’s Tennis Advances to MAAC Championship Match with 4-2 Win over Marist; Bobcats to take on Fairfield on Sunday at 2 PM

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – For the 14th time in the last 15 seasons, the Quinnipiac University women's tennis team will compete for a Division I Conference Championship Title and an NCAA Tournament berth.

The top-seeded Bobcats defeated fourth-seeded Marist, 4-2, in the first leg of the MAAC Championship Semifinals on Saturday afternoon to clinch a spot in the finals. Quinnipiac will take on second-seeded Fairfield University, who defeated Niagara University, 4-1, in the second leg. Quinnipiac defeated the Stags, 6-1, in their lone meeting earlier this year.

Quinnipiac, who is in search of its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998, improved to 12-10 on the season and 9-0 against opposing members of the MAAC. Quinnipiac last appeared in the Big Dance in 2011 when the Bobcats defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in the Northeast Conference Championship.

A day after sweeping all three MAAC First-Team Doubles accolades, Quinnipiac reassured the decision made by coaches around the league. Jacqueline Raynor (Garden City, N.Y.) and Michelle Dassa (Marlboro, N.J.) collected career win No. 56 with an 8-2 victory over Melissa Carlay and Kaye Eastman at No. 2; and Mary Chupa (Bradenton, Fla.) and Kelsi Oliphant (Calgary, Alberta) remained perfect (15-0) with an 8-5 win at No. 3 to claim the first point of the match.

Singles proved to be a bit more difficult for the Bobcats though, as the match came down to the wire. Raynor defeated Sabrina Tahir, 6-0, 6-4, at No. 2; and Young defeated Lisa Ventimiglia, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 4 - leaving Quinnipiac just one point away from the victory. However, Marist stole points at No. 1 and No. 5 singles, and made things interesting by taking the first set at No. 6 and splitting the first two sets at No. 3.   

Needing just one of the last two points available, Michelle Dassa punched Quinnipiac's ticket to the championship match with a 6-0 win in the third set over Marielle Campbell at No. 3. Dassa, who has been used cautiously throughout the season because of injury, persevered for her 22nd win of the season. It was Young's 40th win of the year, as she joins Raynor (42) and Oliphant (40) with 40 combined wins in 2013-14.

#1 – Dzulynsky/Young (QU) vs. Pang/Tahir (MC): 5-6 (Unfinished)
#2 – Raynor/Dassa (QU) def. Carlay/Eastman (MC): 8-2
#3 – Chupa/Oliphant (QU) def. Seitz/Campbell (MC): 8-5

#1 – Pang (MC) def. Dzulynsky (QU): 6-1, 6-0
#2 – Raynor (QU) def. Tahir (MC): 6-0, 6-4
#3 – Dassa (QU) def. Campbell (MC): 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
#4 – Young (QU) def. Ventimiglia (MC): 6-3, 6-1
#5 – Rohan (MC) def. Oliphant (QU): 7-6 (2), 6-0
#6 – Launie (QU) vs. Seitz (MC): 6-7 (11), 3-1

The 2014 MAAC Championship is set for tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Mercer County Tennis Center in West Windsor, N.J. The winner will receive the MAAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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