Beavers Reach NEWMAC Finals For First Time Since 2003
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Third-seeded Babson College built a 2-1 lead after doubles and then earned three quick victories in singles play en route to a 5-1 victory over second-seeded Wellesley College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Tennis Tournament semifinal match on Saturday afternoon at Farwell Courts.
With its first win over Wellesley since 2004, Babson (13-3) advances to the conference finals for the first time since 2003. The Blue wraps up its fall slate at 8-3.
Senior Alex Freeman (Medfield, Mass.) and first-year Yagmur Akgul (Istanbul, Turkey) got the Beavers on the board with an 8-2 win at number one doubles over Wellesley's pairing of senior Sojung Lee (Seoul, Korea) and sophomore Carina Chen (Hong Kong). Senior Alexis Ferraro (Coral Gables, Fla.) and junior Tori Paolino (East Orleans, Mass.) gave the Green and White a two-point lead with their 8-5 triumph at number three before sophomore Andjela Stojkovic (Victoria, British Columbia) and first-year Caroline Hsu (Boca Raton, Fla.) got the Blue on the board with an 8-5 win at number two.
Babson was dominant in singles play, taking the first set in all six matches, and leading in the second set of every match at the time completion. First-year Claire Foster (Orange, Conn.) earned the Beavers' third point with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over sophomore Dasha Kostikina (Acton, Mass.) at number six, while Ferraro dropped just two games in a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Stone at number five to get within one point of securing the match.
Trailing 3-2, Akgul won four of the final five games of the first set and had little trouble in set number two, earning her 20th victory of the season with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Lee at number one.
Babson, which is the first third-seeded team to reach the finals since 2003, will take on top-seeded MIT on Sunday at 1 p.m.
MATCH NOTES: Saturday's victory was the Beavers first over Wellesley in seven NEWMAC/NEW 8 Tournament matches…Babson's 13 wins this season are tied for the fourth-most in program history…the Beavers are 6-1 at home this season…Akgul is the first player to reach 20 singles victories in a season since Daniela Hofer won 21 matches in 2001-02…Freeman and Akgul have won 18 matches together in doubles this fall, equaling the mark of Erin Seu and Francesca Russo in 2002-03.