Broncs break losing streaks with solo efforts

Freshman Allison Clay, left, won the consolation championships at the NJAIAW Tournament, while senior Casey Jedlinski, right, has won four consecutive singles matches.By Kristie Kahl

The women’s tennis team claimed victory thanks to the efforts of a few rookies, while the men’s team tied things up with a familiar face.

The women’s team competed in the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NJAIAW) at Drew. The first day of the double-elimination tournament consisted of two rounds in an eight-game super-set format. Any player with a loss in the first round was put into consolation championships play.

“The two consolation flight wins, having every girl advance to the consolation tournament final and great performances in the first round by the other girls really acted as morale boosters,” said freshman Allison Clay.

Four Broncs — senior Danielle Morse, freshmen Danielle White and Patricia Ashmore and Clay — earned their way into day two of competition for the consolation championships finals.
Competing in flight A for first and second singles players, Morse went 1-1 with an 8-1 victory over Kean’s Lisette LaForge. White and Ashmore competed in flight B for third and fourth singles, both going 1-1 with wins over Miriam Penafial and Christina Cohen of Kean. Another 1-1 record from the tournament was Clay, who competed in flight C consisting of fifth and sixth singles.

To finish out the day, six of eight Rider players went 1-1, two winning in the first round, all beating players from Kean.

For the second day, Ashmore and Clay won the consolation championships for flights B and C, respectively.

Ashmore started off by defeating fellow Bronc White in the flight B finals 8-0. She moved on to win her semifinal match against Cathy Arauz of Drew 8-2.

Clay faced two opponents from Princeton in both the semifinal and final rounds for flight C. During the semifinals, Clay came from behind to claim victory 8-6. She moved on to win straight sets in the final round 6-1 and 6-3.

“My semifinal win was one of the biggest accomplishments of my entire tennis career,” said Clay. “When I found out that I was playing a very strong hitter from Princeton, I knew that I was not the favorite to win. When match point was over, I couldn’t believe it.”

Morse also made for tough competition on the day, defeating Sarah Cronholm of Drew 8-2 in the flight A semifinals. She then lost to Rutgers-Newark’s Monica Itturalde.

“After everyone performed so well this weekend, I think we’re all ready to take what we learned and apply it to our regular season matches,” said Clay. “We seem to have more confidence in our strokes and are keeping the balls in the court to play an even more consistent game.”

The men’s team tied St. Peter’s in a MAAC match, 3-3.

Senior Casey Jedlinski was a force to be reckoned with, winning first singles 2-6, 6-4, 10-2.

Junior Marc Ashed won the fourth singles match 2-6, 7-6, 10-5 and sophomore Robert Olsen claimed victory in the sixth singles match in straight sets 6-4, 6-0.

Because of a late start, the doubles competition was cancelled. The match will stand as a tie unless the conference decides to have the two teams finish the doubles competition.
A few days later, the team fell to Monmouth 6-1.

Although No. 1 singles player Jedlinski dropped the first set to Benjamin Evenden, he came from behind, rallying with three straight sets to claim victory 6-3, 10-8 for the only Rider point of the day. Jedlinski has won four singles matches in a row, and improved to 5-2 in singles matches for this fall.

The teams will play a conference match against St. Peter’s at home tomorrow at noon.

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