The women’s tennis team’s championship game came down to the gritty end as the Spartans were able to pull through to claim the North Eastern Athletic Conference women’s tennis title as it defeated Penn State-Berks 5-4 at Tri-City Fitness in Latham, N.Y. on May 1.Castleton’s Michelle Podnecky defeated Amy Kemble 6-0, 6-2 in number one singles play. She also teamed with Kate Bucci to defeat Kemble and Aimee Hoffman 8-1 in number one doubles to lead Castleton to the 5-4 victory.
The Spartans number four Brittni Racine and number five Chelsea Crehan also won both their singles matches and paired up to get a victory at number three doubles as well.
Penn State-Berks’ Jackie Carl defeated Bryn Paraschos at number three singles and teamed with Ashton Romero to defeat Paraschos and Kristen McGinnis at number two doubles. Erica Mustard also earned a point for Penn State-Berks, defeating Erica Bilinear at number six singles.
“It was very nerve racking and exciting at the same time,” said head coach Paul Cohen about watching this close match.
This is the first time Castleton has been eligible to play in postseason NCAA play, and Cohen is very eager to see who his team will face.
Castleton will most likely face one of the top teams in the country.
“It’s thrilling just the experience of being there,” he said. “I’m very proud of having Castleton’s name represented at the national level.”
Cohen is very confident with his whole team, but he is especially confident about Podnecky, who also became a national ski champion earlier this year.
“If she’s on, she can do some damage at the national level,” Cohen said.
The Spartans will go on to represent the conference at the NCAA tournament. The NCAA will meet on May 10 to determine where, when and who the team will play in the first round of the national tournament on May 14.