FLUSHING, N.Y. (Apr. 29, 2018) - The Queens College women's tennis team pulled off a stunning comeback, winning five of six singles matches to claim a 5-4 win over sixth-seed Stonehill on Sunday (Apr. 29) and advance to the final 16 of the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championships.
It was the first such comeback in four decades for the Knights, and it could not have come at a better time as Queens claimed the East Region II Championship with the victory.
The Skyhawks flew into the lead by sweeping the doubles competition away from Queens. Top-tandem Reehan Rashad and Laura Ortega Jover were defeated by an 8-6 margin against Alexandra Vo and Annelise Howick while Stonehill also claimed 8-4 wins in the other two doubles match-ups.
Singles play proved to be where Queens began its incredible comeback. Rashad claimed a 6-4, 6-2 win over Victoria Barbetta at No. 1 singles with Ortega Jover winning a 6-3, 6-1 match against Vo at the second flight of singles. Emy Alplund blanked Kate Cunningham 6-0 in the first set and won the second set by a 6-4 score while Araceli Bel Aleixendri triumphed 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) over Nicole Downey at the fifth flight. The Knights were defeated at sixth singles as Colleen O'Donnell won a 6-2, 7-5 match against Ruth Artaza Martin, setting up a dramatic final showdown at No. 3 singles between Louisa Brunetti and Isabelle Porter.
Porter won the first set in a tiebreak by a 7-6 (7-5) to get Stonehill a set away from the championship. Brunetti and Porter then went back and forth in the second set before the Knights' sophomore from Sweden pulled out a 6-4 win to push the match to a decisive final set. Both Brunetti and Porter were broken on serve to open the final set as the tension grew and the noise increased. Brunetti then pushed ahead and eventually won a dramatic 6-3 victory with the final point setting off a wild celebration as both players collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.
The Knights will wait for the remaining regional champions to be determined before finding out who they will face; Queens will, however, be heading to Arizona for the NCAA Championships next week.