MANCHESTER, Conn. – In their first-ever NCAA Division III tournament appearance today, the eighth-ranked Brandeis University women's tennis team rolled past Penn State Abington, 5-0, in a match played at Magic Lincer Tennis Club in Connecticut and hosted by Wesleyan University.
"This was a great win for the program," said head coach Ben Lamanna. "It showed what a great community Brandeis Athletics is. There was great support from our departmental staff, and several alumni were able to make it to the match. An NCAA tournament win was years in the making for us, and a lot of people helped build the foundation. We look forward to taking another step ahead tomorrow."
The Judges lost just one game in their completed matches and just two across all nine contests. In doubles action, the pairing of senior Sophia He (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Spackenkill) and rookie Ana Hatfield (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Central Catholic) were 8-0 winners at #3 to get the scoring started. Senior Olivia Leavitt (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) and sophomore Lauren Bertsch (Middletown, R.I./LaSalle Academy) were 8-0 winners at #1, while senior Keren Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J./Academy of Allied Health and Sciences) and junior Diana Dehterevich (Minsk, Belarus/Secondary School #135 of Minsk) closed out the doubles sweep, 8-1, as Abington's Stephanie Jin and Isabella Blackwell were the only Lions to take a game.
In singles action, Brandeis again dominated. The clinching points came from Khromchenko at #2 and He at #3, with both securing 6-0, 6-0, victories. Penn State Abington's lone game win came from Blackwell, who took one in the first set at #5.
The Judges improve to 13-7 on the season and advance to the second round, where they will meet the winner of a first-round match between #16 Skidmore and Brooklyn. Brandeis defeated Skidmore, 6-3, earlier this season.