After losing to fourth-seeded Marist 4-3 last week, the women’s tennis team is out for revenge this weekend when the fifth-seeded Stags play the Red Foxes in the opening round of the MAAC Tournament.

The Tournament will be played at the U.S. Tennis Center in Queens, New York. This venue, which will be hosting its second MAAC Tournament, also holds the U.S. Open every August.

“It’s the nicest facility we play at all year. It’s a great venue for conference championships,” said head coach Jeff Wyshner.

Niagara is the No. 1 seed, followed by Siena, Loyola and Marist. Fairfield, 10-9 overall and 5-4 in the MAAC, will attempt to avenge its loss to No. 4, Marist, Friday at 11 am. The Stags lost to the Red Foxes 4-3 last Wednesday.

The Stags opened a 1-0 lead by capturing the doubles point when the No. 1 tandem of Erin Reeves, ’04, and Diana Webb, ’05, won 8-2. The No. 3 pair of Megan Stauffer, ’06, and Andrea Suriano, ’04, clinched the point with a 9-8 win.

Fairfield captured singles victories from Webb at No. 1 and Suriano at No. 4. Stauffer, however, was unable to clinch the win for the Stags at the No. 3 singles position, losing an exhausting three-set match in a final-set tiebreaker.

“We basically know what Marist’s playing styles and weaknesses are,” Webb said. “As long as we play good, smart tennis, I am confident that we will do well.”

Loyola has held the MAAC reign for four consecutive years. Niagara is favored to win, but Loyola pushed the Purple Eagles by winning two matches in the team’s encounter earlier this year. According to Wyshner, a five-peat for Loyola is feasible.

The Stags head into the tournament healthier than ever, and are focused on Friday’s match. Friday’s winner will automatically finish in the top four, and the loser will compete for fifth place.

Wyshner said that upsets in women’s tennis are few and far between. That’s what made Fairfield’s semifinal upset versus Niagara last year so incredible. The women have to play almost flawless to upset a top seeded team this year.

“The seedings will most likely hold to form. We have our work cut out for us,” Wyshner said. “Friday’s match will be an upset if we win. Finishing in the top four is fantastic, and we are looking forward to playing top seeded opponents.”

Co-captain Reeves anticipates a close match against Marist even though the Stags are the underdogs.

“We lost to Marist 4-3,and that was without Annie,” Reeves said. Annie Mullowney is Fairfield’s No. 3 singles player, but was unable to play in the Marist match. She will be an active part of the roster on Friday.

“We have proven ourselves and to other schools that we can win matches that we’re the underdog in like we did against Providence this year,” Webb said. “Everyone has really been working hard and I am excited to see how we do this weekend.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.