by Tom Utescher

A tennis ball flattens out on the racquet of CHC freshman number two Kelly Dennis as she strokes a forehand during last week’s season finale. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

On Monday of last week there was an occurrence that has been rare this soggy spring, weather that grew dryer and warmer as the afternoon progressed. The women’s tennis team at Chestnut Hill College took advantage of the anomaly to play a match that had been postponed twice before, and the Griffins notched a 6-3 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference win over the visitors from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Because of the delays involved in playing this match, it became the final event on CHC’s 2010-2011 schedule, and the Griffins finished up 5-3 for the spring portion of the season, and 13-9 with fall matches figured into the mix.

Chestnut Hill’s number one player throughout the year has been sophomore Nastia “The Minsk Marauder” Shcherbakova. Ranked among the top dozen juniors while in high school in her native Belarus, she came to the U.S. in 2010 to attend West Virginia Wesleyan University. Finding the school’s location somewhat isolated, she transferred to CHC for her second year of college.

In the Griffins’ season swansong last week Shcherbakova had little problem dispatching USP number one Bridget Frymoyer, 6-2, 6-1, and at number two CHC freshman Kelly Dennis blew by the Devils’ Zahra Hasan, 6-1, 6-0.

It didn’t get any better for the visitors on the next few rungs of the singles ladder. Chestnut Hill sophomore Maria Parapouras, who hails from Victoria, Australia, didn’t lose a game as she took down USP number three Laney Jones, and in the fourth spot a pair of 6-1 sets took CHC sophomore team captain Danielle Knott past Desiree Vassalotti of the Devils.

USP was able to chalk up victories in the two remaining singles bouts, including Michelle Adamczyk’s 6-3, 7-5 win in the fifth spot over CHC senior Sarah Dougherty. As the only upperclassman on the Chestnut Hill roster this year, Dougherty was the sole focus of the team’s Senior Day celebration before last week’s match got underway.

Her sister Gina, a sophomore, usually plays singles for the Griffins, as well, but on this occasion freshman Olivia Stevenson stepped in at sixth singles, where she fell to the Devils’ Anna Vo, 6-4, 6-1.

CHC’s Shcherbakova and Dennis teamed up at first doubles to overcome Frymoyer and Hassan in the standard pro set, 8-2. Barreling through the second doubles match, 8-0, Parapouras and Knott of the Griffins knocked off Jones and Vassalotti of the visiting side. The Dougherty sisters played together for Chestnut Hill at third doubles, where USP’s Adamczyk and Vo prevailed, 8-5.

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