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Comeback Falls Short in First NCAA Match, As NYIT Hangs on against Women’s Tennis, 4-2

Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All Rights Reserved. File photo of Andrea Ribalta. Photo by Erin Harvey. October 6, 2018 vs. USciences.
Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All Rights Reserved. File photo of Andrea Ribalta. Photo by Erin Harvey. October 6, 2018 vs. USciences.

FLUSHING, N.Y. - - Competing in its first NCAA Division II East regional Tournament Match on Monday, the Wilmington University women's tennis team made a comeback effort against NYIT, but fell just short, 4-2, at the QC Tennis Center.

The fifth seeded Wildcats (10-9) got their first point of the day from Andrea Ribalta at No. 4 singles, cutting the deficit in half, 2-1. Sabrina Blasi-Smith then won at No. 5 singles, 6-1 and 6-3, to keep the Wildcats' hopes alive, 3-2, with singles play still going on at number one and three.

Tess Paya fought back from a set down to win the second set, 6-4, forcing a third and final frame at number three singles. Begona Gomar was trying to do the same at number one singles, but Barbie Quagliardi fought off four straight set points to come back and win the tiebreaker, 7-5, giving the Bears their fourth point of the match.

The Bears got off to a strong start in doubles play, winning at number three, 6-0, and then taking the point with a win at number two doubles, 6-1. Laura Gil and Andrea Ribalta were tied, 3-3, at number one doubles, when the match was halted.

Ribalta won her match at number four singles, 6-1 and 6-1.

The Wildcats captured their first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship in the fall to earn the conference's automatic qualification into the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament. Wilmington women's tennis just completed its third year of existence.