BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Defending champion and top-seeded Bridgewater State University women's tennis team swept the three doubles flights and went on to defeat second-seeded Rhode Island College, 5-0, in the Little East Conference Tournament championship match at the Rosen Memorial Tennis Courts in Bridgewater on Saturday afternoon.
With their fourth tournament title, the Bears advance to the NCAA Division III Championships for the second straight season, third time in the last four years and fourth time overall. Bridgewater also advanced in 2007 after winning the Little East Tournament when it was an individual flighted format.
The Bears took the lead when sophomore Alison Vautrin (Somerset, Mass.) and junior Rachael Eramo (Rowley, Mass.) posted an 8-3 triumph at the third doubles flight. Senior Jackie McGuirk (Raynham, Mass.) and junior Melissa Flynn (Stoneham, Mass.) followed with an 8-0 win at the second flight. Seniors Jenna Williamson (Ludlow, Mass.) and Lauren Hopp (Dartmouth, Mass.) completed the doubles sweep with an 8-4 victory at number one.
McGuirk, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, won in straight sets at second singles, 6-1, 6-0, to stake the Bears to a 4-0 lead. Hopp then clinched the championship with a 6-1, 6-2 decision at the third flight. The remaining four singles flights were left unfinished as the match ended once one team earned five points. The Bears were up a set in three of the four remaining singles matches.
The Bears improved to 14-0 with the victory as they equaled the program mark for wins in a season set by the 2010 team which finished 14-2. RIC ends the 2013 season with a record of 14-3.
McGuirk posted a 2-0 mark teaming with Flynn in second flight doubles play during the tournament as well as a 1-0 record at second singles. She has a 12-1 singles mark and a 14-2 doubles record in her first season with the Bears after transferring from UNC Asheville.
The NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Tournament does not take place until next spring with first round play getting underway in mid-May. Tournament pairings will be announced at a later date.