Women’s Tennis Eliminated from CCC Tourney After 5-2 Loss to Endicott

Senior Kathryn Hughes was a big part of the women’s tennis team’s success this past season.

By Megan Julian | Herald Contributor

The women’s tennis team was eliminated from the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) tournament by Endicott College 5-2 on Tuesday, Oct. 17, putting an end to an otherwise successful season.

“Our team no matter what is there for each other and we picked ourselves up when we were down,” said sophomore Allie Grinavic after their competitive matchup against the second-seeded Gulls. “Even the people who didn’t play cheered constantly and that kept the intensity up [and] that really shows that everyone has a part on the team.”

The Hawks entered the matchup coming off a 5-0 win over sixth-seeded Western New England University in the CCC quarterfinals last week, but faced a tall task in overcoming Endicott, whom RWU has not beaten since 2010. The match on Tuesday was the Hawks’ 12th consecutive loss to Endicott.

Roger Williams won a single set in the doubles tournament and one set in the singles tournament. Pairing up for doubles play were seniors Kathryn Hughes and Julia Akerman, senior Gabrielle Riley, and freshman Heidi Martin, as well as senior Ali Stankiewicz and Grinavic.

“We were hyped up and very excited to play,” Grinavic said.

Hughes and Akerman came through early for the Hawks with a 9-8 win in the first matchup of the doubles tournament. However, the Gulls shortly thereafter took a 2-1 advantage after winning the second and third doubles matches by scores of 8-2 and 8-4, respectively.

“The first doubles team [of] Katie and Julia stood out because they stepped up to get us a point in doubles,” Grinavic said.

In the singles tournament, Hughes, Akerman, Stankiewicz, Grinavic, Riley, and sophomore Taryn Roche had the task of regaining the lead. Akerman briefly swung the momentum back to the Hawks after pulling out a win in the second singles match by set scores of 6-3 and 6-0, knotting the match at 2-2.

Stankiewicz had an opportunity to give the Hawks the lead back with her playing in the third singles match, but lost in straight sets.

Roche and Grinavic also had chances to help the Hawks regain the lead, but lost in straight sets as well, giving Endicott the win and advancing them to a CCC finals date with first-seeded Nichols College.

Despite the loss, RWU enjoyed another successful season, finishing with a 11-4 overall record and 6-2 conference record.

Grinavic attributed the team’s successful season to their upbeat and positive attitude. She said each teammate always encouraged one another when they did well and always brought a positive attitude on and off the court. The smiles on these young women’s faces when watching them play was contagious, Grinavic said, and it seeped into the fans in the stands.

She also discussed how close the team was, how good their team bond became, and how she believes that really helped their season.

“The seniors really made that happen, they really made an effort to bring everyone together, I truly believe that is why our team had so much success,” Grinavic said.

The team is now looking forward to spring season. Reflecting back on the game Tuesday, Head Coach Barry Gorman had only positive things to say about these young women.

“We fought hard today against a strong Endicott team,” he said. “Overall, I was very pleased with our season as a whole. We worked very hard today and fought every step of the way.”