by Tom Utescher
Sweeping visiting University of the Sciences, 9-0, last Friday afternoon, the women’s tennis team at Chestnut Hill College ran its unbeaten streak in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference to 5-0, while raising its overall record this season to 10-1.
The closest of the pro-set doubles matches ended at 8-3 on Friday, and in singles it was straight sets all around for the Griffins, whose only loss all year was to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Even on a tough day at IUP, Chestnut Hill’s Nastia Shcherbakova won at first singles, and the junior from Belarus has been a formidable force at the top of the team ladder all season. Last Friday, the “Minsk Marauder” easily overcame USP sophomore Sara Durham, 6-0, 6-1.
CHC won the next two singles contests by the same score, as sophomore Kelly Dennis downed visiting junior Juliet Choi, and third-year Griffin Maria Parapouras pommeled freshman Melissa White. With the exception of Durham, all of the singles players for the visiting Devils bumped up one spot, since their regular number two, junior Laney Jones, was injured in one of the doubles matches (which customarily precede singles play in intercollegiate competition).
CHC had one of its talented freshmen out of action entirely; Roxborough resident and Girls High grad Alexis Puhl was sidelined with a minor knee injury.
The Griffins’ top rookie, Morgan Oechsle, posted a pair of 6-3 sets as she dispatched USP’s sophomore number four, Michelle Adamczyk. Oechsle has had no problem stepping right into the line-up and helping provide the depth that is making the squad so successful this fall.
“In addition to her high school tennis, she has a tremendous amount of tournament experience,” explained CHC head coach Albert Stroble. “She came in ready to compete at the collegiate level.”
Junior veteran Danielle Knott nailed down a 6-1, 6-0 win at fifth singles last Friday, dropping Desiree Vassalotti, a USP sophomore. Due to Puhl’s injury, Gina Doherty stepped in at sixth singles for the home team, and the junior took down Tea Cadenovic, a Devils freshman, 6-1, 6-2.
Earlier, in doubles, the Griffins’ premier pair of Shcherbakova and Dennis won 8-3 over Durham and White, and in the second flight an 8-1 win was chalked up by Parapouras and Ocshle over Jones and Choi. The third doubles duel went to Knott and Doherty, who defeated Adamczyk and Vassalotti, 8-2.