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Women’s Tennis Preps For America East Championship Friday

Bearcats (9-12) earn number three seed, will play Hartford on Friday at 11 a.m.

April 26, 2012


Women’s Tennis Preps For America East Championship Friday

Contact: Mike Porter (sports1@binghamton.edu)

Flushing, NY—The BU women’s tennis team heads to Flushing, NY this weekend to compete in the 2012 America East Championship at the UTSA National Tennis Center (home of the US Open). The Bearcats (9-12) head into the tournament having won two straight matches that include a 4-3 victory over no. 4 seed Stony Brook and a 7-0 sweep of the no. 6 seed and eventual first round opponent Hartford.

Binghamton, who has finished runners-up four consecutive years to Boston, is led by its trio of seniors. Setting the table is Jillian Santos, who returns to her hometown of Flushing, NY to play in her fourth AE tournament. Santos, who plays at the no. 1 singles position, is 16-18 overall this season with a 10-11 record during dual matches. More impressively, the senior has accumulated 86 career singles wins, which is tied for third-place all-time in program history.

Fellow seniors Marina Bykovskaya and Emma Leibowicz round up the veteran leaders for the three seed. Bykovskaya has been Binghamton’s most consistent player this season in singles winning a team-high 21 matches, including a strong 9-6 record from the no. 3 spot. She has 72 career victories (6th place all-time). Leibowicz has played solidly in doubles all season, winning a team-best 10 double matches during the spring season. She ranks eighth all-time with 65 doubles victories.

The Bearcats are 4-1 this season against America East opponents, with their only slip up coming against #2 seed UMBC. Boston, who has won an incredible 21 of 22 conference championships, including 17 straight, was rewarded with the first seed. The last two seasons the championship has come down to both Binghamton and Boston with both matches ending in a narrow 4-3 victory for the Terriers. With their eyes set on a first conference crown, second year head coach Libby McGovern will rely heavily upon her seniors to lead the way.

“Our seniors have helped provide us with depth and leadership all season long,” McGovern said. “I know I can count on them to be competitive and help lead by example for our three freshman. They have been at this stage, now their fourth time, so nothing that happens during the tournament will be a shock to them. Instilling that confidence in our younger players will be key.”

The three freshman who have been in the lineup all season and will also be in action this Friday are Katherine Medianik, Taylor Hollander and Missy Edelblum. All three have gained valuable experience and have performed solidly in their rookie seasons. Medianik leads the bunch with 13 singles victories, including a strong 7-3 mark at the no. 5 spot. Both Hollander and Edelblum have tallied 11 and 10 wins respectively. In doubles, the three have gone a combined 35-45 (.438), led by Hollander who has notched a 7-8 record during dual matches.

With a strong mix of both talent and experience, the Bearcats know the road ahead will be difficult and with seven runner-up finishes in the last 10 seasons are well aware of what lies ahead.

“It’s going to be a battle from start to finish. Obviously, Boston is the top-seed and favorites having won numerous years in a row, but we can’t look ahead. Each and every team poses a difficult challenge and we have to take it match-by-match.”

Play begins at 11 a.m. on Friday with Hartford. The winner takes on #2 seed UMBC on Saturday at 10 a.m. Make sure to follow all the action here at the America East Championship central

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