Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

UMass prepares for match against Long Island

The Massachusetts tennis team returns to action this afternoon against Long Island University at the United States Tennis Association Tennis Center in New York.

The Blackbirds are the defending Northeast Conference champions and were selected by conference coaches to finish second this season. They return four singles competitors from that squad, including NEC Player of the Year Selma Babic. Their record currently stands at 1-0, after a victory over Albany last weekend.

Last year, they ended up with a 10-8 overall record, including a perfect 3-0 mark in conference competition.

This record included a 6-1 loss to UMass on Feb. 1st in Amherst. The Minutewomen cruised in the encounter, winning every doubles match on their way to victory. The only winner for the Blackbirds was Babic, who defeated junior Candynce Boney, 6-2, 6-4.

Boney earned measure of revenge though, as she teamed with senior Maude Lecluyse to defeat Babic and sophomore Dara Lahens.

Other notable winners for UMass included junior Kaitlyn Carpenter, who beat Ashley Harvey, 7-5, 7-6 (1) in the closest match of the day at No. 2 singles, and a victory for the team of Laura Danai and junior Tanisha Hodgson at No. 2 doubles.

The match will feature a rematch from the Sept. 25 Eastern Championships as well, as Babic will face off with UMass No. 1 singles competitor Magdalena Ploch.

Babic defeated Ploch 1-6, 6-1, 10-7 in a hotly contested match last time out.
Both players come into the match on hot streaks. Ploch has been dominant this year, posting a 4-1 record in dual match play. The only loss came against Yale and the No. 9 player in the northeast, Stephanie Kent.

Ploch was ranked tenth in the northeast in an Intercollegiate Tennis Assocation preseason poll, and was named the UMass Athlete of the Week in November for her work at the ITA Regional Championships. Ploch dispatched the No. 14 seed Annie Houghton of Army, who is a two-time Patriot League Champion.

She also knocked off the No. 3 seed from Harvard, Hideko Tachibana, 6-2, 6-2. Tachibana held a 12-0 record with three tournament titles going into that match.

Babic was dominant last year in the NEC as Player of the Year, with a 16-1 mark in dual match play. Since she transferred from Clemson two years ago, Babic racked up 11 NEC Player of the Week awards.

This year, she was solid out of the block with five straight singles victories in tournament and dual match play.

The Minutewomen are 1-1 coming into this match after splitting two contests against Yale and Siena this weekend. After a 7-0 loss at the hands of the No. 44 Bulldogs, the Minutewomen bounced back with a 7-0 victory over the Saints.

After their match against Long Island, UMass will return home to take on the St. John’s at the Bay Road Tennis Club. The match will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Ben Lambert can be reached at wlambert@student.umass.edu.

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