By Jacob Schneider
The Queens College women’s tennis season came to a disappointing halt after falling to NYIT in the finals of the East Coast Conference Championship, the Knights first loss of the season.
The score was tied 4-4 going into the decisive No. 3 singles match, which the Bears won in three sets.
The doubles team of sophomores Ruth Artaza Martin and Araceli Bel Aleixendri were victorious in the first match of the day with an 8-3 victory, giving Queens its first points.
Martin and Aleixendri finished the season unbeaten in dual matches.
Senior Emy Alplund and sophomore Louisa Brunetti were defeated in their doubles match, tying the score at one. The junior duo of Reehan Rashad and Laura Ortega Jover fell in the top doubles match 8-5 giving NYIT a 2-1 lead.
In singles, Aleixendri swept her opponent 6-0 at No. 6 singles to tie the match at two. Aleixendri finished her singles season undefeated. The Bears went on to take a 4-2 lead by winning the next two matches, thanks to victories by ECC player of the year Lena Dimmer over Rashad and Alessia Rossetti defeated Brunetti in straight sets.
The Knights mounted a comeback to tie the match a four apiece after victories by Alplund and Artaza Martin, both in straight sets.
Ortega Jover was left for the Knights to challenge ECC Rookie of the Year Ivana Andric in the deciding singles match, which would determine the conference winner. Andric was able to capture the first set 6-4, but Jover bounced back for a 6-3 win in the second set. Andric went on to take the final set, 6-2, clinching the match and the conference championship for NYIT.
Queens finished the fall season with a 10-1 record, including a perfect 9-0 regular season record, which earned the Knights the No. 1 seed in the postseason tournament.
Head coach Alan Nagel was awarded the ECC Coach of the Year award for the season that included the Knights’ first ECC Regular Season Championship since 2012, and the undefeated regular season. For Nagel, it is his 12th ECC Coach of the Year accolade and fourth in the last five seasons. Nagel just completed his 39th season as a Queens College coach.
But Nagel was not the only Knight to earn an accolade this season.
Rashad, Brunetti and Jover were each named to the All-ECC First Team, while senior captain Emy Alplund collected second team honors.