For Immediate Release: May 1, 2005
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Binghamton women's tennis falls short against Boston in America East Final

STORRS, CONN.-Despite a valiant effort against 10-time defending champion Boston, the Binghamton women's tennis team (16-6) lost in the America East Conference finals 4-1. The setback snapped the Bearcats' 11-match win streak and also marked the second time in the past three years that they have finished second in the conference.

"We are disappointed," head coach Mike Stevens said. "It was an exciting match but Boston played a little bit better than us. We saw that we could compete with a program like Boston and that will help us in the future."

Zeynep Altinay (Ankara, Turkey) won both her singles and doubles match. She defeated Laura Ahmes at first singles 6-3, 6-3 to improve her record to 30-4 for the season. She also teamed up with freshman Alyssa Freeman (Atlantic Beach, N.Y.) at No. 2 doubles to win 8-4.

Binghamton had a chance to take the opening doubles point as sophomores
Lya Kushnirovich (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Vera Popova (Brooklyn, N.Y.) held an 8-7 lead and had a match point against Katarina Draganova and Aimee Charest. Boston, however, fought off that point and forced a tiebreaker. It won the tie breaker 9-7 and captured the doubles point by also winning at No. 2 doubles.

The Bearcats bounced back and came out strong in singles action, winning the first set in four of the six matches. Charest, however, scored a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 come-from-behind win over Freeman at No. 5 singles to turn the tide. The other Terrier wins came at No. 3 singles where Erin Katims defeated Kushnirovich 7-5, 6-4 and at No. 6 singles, where Monica Shepherd defeated Popova 6-1, 6-1.

In the two other singles matches that were not completed, Boston fought back from a one-set deficit. At No. 2, Sabatino was leading sophomore
Jelena Koprivica (Belgrade, Serbia) 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 4-3 and at No. 4, Draganova tied freshman Jenn Naegeli (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) 6-7 (7-1), 6-3 before play was called.

Boston 4, Binghamton 1


#1 Zeynep Altinay (Binghamton) def. Laura Ahmes (Boston U.) 6-3, 6-3
#2 Gina Sabatino (Boston U.) led Jelena Koprivica (Binghamton) 6-7, 7-5 tie breaker, 6-3, 4-3 (DNF)
#3 Erin Katims (Boston U.) def. Lya Kushnirovich (Binghamton) 7-5, 6-4
#4 Katarina Draganova (Boston U.) led Jenn Naegeli (Binghamton) 6-7, 7-1 tie breaker, 6-3
#5 Aimee Charest (Boston U.) def. Alyssa Freeman (Binghamton) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
#6 Monica Shepherd (Boston U.) def. Vera Popova (Binghamton) 6-1, 6-1


#1 Ahmes/Cheri Lapane (Boston U.) def. Koprivica/Naegeli (Binghamton) 8-3
#2 Altinay/Freeman (Binghamton) def. Sabatino/Shepherd (Boston U.) 8-4
#3 Draganova/Charest (Boston U.) def. Kushnirovich/Popova (Binghamton) 9-8, 9-7 tie breaker

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