Simmons Captures 2012 GNAC Women's Tennis Championship

BOSTON, Mass. -- Simmons tennis defeated the Emerson College Lions, 6-3 to earn top honors as the 2012 GNAC Women's Tennis Champions for the fifth year in a row Sunday afternoon. The Sharks, who went undefeated in the conference this year, have now won 50 consecutive GNAC matches, dating back to 2007.

In a rematch of last season's championship match, the Sharks took an early 2-1 lead after doubles play. Sophomore Kristi Mielbye (Hanson, Mass.) and freshman Caroline Khoury (Portsmouth, Ohio) defeated Jana Winfield and Alanna Grady 8-5 in hard-fought match in the third position to remain undefeated as a pair this season. Senior Sabrina Salmela (Beverly, Mass.) teamed up with freshman Rachael Downey (Groveland, Mass.) to defeat Alicia Pellegrin and Natalie Nicholas 8-3 in the number two spot to increase the Sharks lead to two.

The Lions earned their first win in number one doubles as powerhouses Lacey Russell and Savannah Mosser defeated Margaret Teague (Manchester, N.H.) and Meghan Cokely (Haverhill, Mass.) 8-5.

The Simmons underclassmen came up huge in the singles play with four wins to clinch the title. Cokely defeated Pellegrin, 6-0, 6-3 at the number three position to remain undefeated in the GNAC singles this season, Downey defeated Nicholas at the number four spot, 6-0, 6-3 and Mielbye solidified the win in a straight set victory over Minh Pham, 6-0, 6-0.

Emerson's Lacey Russell and Teague battled at the number one position but Russell came out on top, 7-5, 6-3 for the Lions second win. In the number two spot, Mosser defeated Salmela 6-1, 7-6(6) and freshman Katie Crowley (Reading, Mass.) came back to defeat Winfield 6-7(5), 6-0, 10-5 to end the match, 6-3.

"We had a tremendous team effort today. The four underclassmen starters all came away with victories, which is a great sign going forward. They certainly played like upperclassman today. We managed to play one of our best matches this season today against a talented and well-coached Emerson squad. I'm very proud of our team's effort," said Sharks head coach Bob Rauseo.

The Sharks, who have now won eight GNAC championships in nine years, end their fall season with an overall record of 12-2 and an undefeated GNAC record of 8-0.

GNAC Women's Tennis All-Tournament Team

Sabrina Salmela, Senior, Simmons, Beverly, Mass.

Rachael Downey, Freshman, Simmons, Groveland, Mass.

Lacey Russell, Junior, Emerson, Roswell, Ga.

Savannah Mosser, Junior, Emerson, Malibu, Calif.

Darcy Predieri, Sophomore, Johnson & Wales, Sudbury, Ohio

Alex Hadlock, Sophomore, Emmanuel, Framingham, Mass.

*Release courtesy of Simmons Sports Information Dept.