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Tennis Scores Shutout of Providence; 7-0

Rocio Portela clinched the Pirates' first BIG EAST victory of the season

March 9, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Seton Hall tennis team continued its run of dominance over BIG EAST foe Providence on Saturday, coasting to a 7-0 road victory to extend its winning streak to three matches.

With the win, the Pirates improve to 6-4 in the spring, with three victories by way of shutout, and The Hall has now defeated the Friars in seven consecutive seasons.

After dropping the doubles point in two of their last three appearances, the Pirates took control of proceedings early by prevailing in two of three doubles matches.

Having seen three of their last four matches brought to a stop prior to completion, Seton Hall’s top doubles pair of Rocio Portela (Demetrio Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) and Chloe Sher (Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong) left no doubt in their matchup with Maria Clara Bernardez and Olivia Hogan at #1. The two seniors faltered in only one game en route to an 8-1 win.

Portela and Sher move to 12-7 on the year and have now picked up five spring victories since being named the ninth-ranked team in the Northeast region.

 Providence pulled level with a win in a tiebreaker at the third position, but the tandem of Hannah Liljekvist (Djursholm, Sweden) and Madison Shoemaker (Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia) emerged victorious from a tiebreaker at #2 to swing the point in favor of Seton Hall.

Liljekvist and Shoemaker jumped out to a 5-2 advantage against Alana Prinos and Hannah Zangari but were twice forced to rally to extend the match. In the tiebreak, the two squads were knotted at 9-9 before the Pirate pair was able to put away two consecutive points to secure the win.

In singles play, the Pirates made quick work of Providence, scoring straight-set victories at five positions.

The first came from Shoemaker, who overpowered Zangari, 6-1, 6-0 at #5 for her team-leading 16th individual win of the 2013-14 campaign. Sher was similarly dominant at the top spot, downing Bernardez, 6-1, 6-2 for her third-straight victory.

With The Hall up 3-0, Portela sealed the team result with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Jennifer DeLuca at #3. Portela has been a key to the squad’s success thus far in the spring as The Hall is 4-0 when she scores a singles point.

Sophomore Julia Keenan (Greenland, N.H.) followed with an impressive showing at #4, besting Karen Ramirez, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the 15-win plateau for the second season in-a-row. Keenan has now prevailed in three-straight matches and owns the second-most dual match victories with five.

At #6, freshman Julie Martiny (Brussels, Belgium) added her second singles victory of the spring, closing out Hogan in a decisive third set. Martiny moved in front with a 6-1 first set win, but dropped the second, 4-6. With the match on the line, the freshman regained control and posted a 6-2 victory.

To close the shutout, Liljekvist defeated Prinos, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the second slot. In her first spring with the Pirates, Liljekvist has bolstered the top of head coach Greg Wyzykowski’s lineup, adding four victories which have all come at the top two positions.

Seton Hall has now triumphed over the Friars by at least three points in each of the last seven seasons and also added its first BIG EAST victory of the season.

The match was the last for The Hall before heading to Puerto Rico for a spring break trip that features three scheduled matches. Seton Hall will first face East Carolina in a battle of Pirates on Tuesday, March 11 and will square off with Bryant and Valparaiso over the next two days.

Seton Hall 7 Providence 0
#1. Portela/Sher (Seton Hall) def. Bernardez/Hogan (Providence), 8-1
#2. Liljekvist/Shoemaker (Seton Hall) def. Prinos/Zangari (Providence), 8-7 (9)
#3. DeLuca/Pitocco (Providence) def. Anna Guryanova/Keenan (Seton Hall),  8-7 (5)
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2

#1 Chloe Sher (Seton Hall) def. Maria Clara Bernardez (Providence), 6-1, 6-2
#2. Hannah Liljekvist (Seton Hall) def. Alana Prinos (Providence), 7-6 (2), 6-4
#3. Rocio Portela (Seton Hall) def. Jennifer DeLuca (Providence), 6-2, 6-4
#4. Julia Keenan (Seton Hall) def. Karen Ramirez (Providence), 6-4, 6-2
#5. Madison Shoemaker (Seton Hall) def. Hannah Zangari (Providence), 6-1, 6-0
#6. Julie Martiny (Seton Hall) def. Olivia Hogan (Providence), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
Order of Finish:5, 1, 3, 4, 6, 2