|Megan Azzalina||Stephanie Boccuzzi||Devon Cohen|
|Lisa-Marie Lanciotti||Nicole Mahaffey||Emily Walsh|
Coach Janice Winslow’s University of
Scranton women’s tennis team (10-6) will host Catholic
University (14-5) in the championship match of the 2014 Landmark
Conference tournament this Sunday, April 27, at the Royal Courts
beginning at 1:00 p.m. Admission is free.
The match was originally schedule for tomorrow afternoon but has been pushed back a day due to the chance of rain Saturday.
The two-time defending champion Royals will be making their fourth straight appearance in the title match. They advanced by defeating Juniata College, 5-3, Thursday afternoon behind two wins apiece from sophomore Emily Walsh (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Preparatory) and junior Megan Azzalina (Easton, Pa./Notre Dame).
The Cardinals will be making their first appearance in the Landmark title match after pulling out a dramatic 5-4 victory over Moravian College Wednesday afternoon in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They won four singles matches to erase a 2-1 deficit after doubles.
Highlighting Catholic’s lineup is freshman Laura Torsiello (Bayport, NY), who has won two straight and eight of her last 10 matches to improve her team-leading record to 14-2 in singles. In Wednesday’s win over Moravian, she teamed with senior Elizabeth Harvey (Brightwaters, NY) for an 8-5 win at the number one doubles, then posted a straight-set victory in singles to pick up two valuable points.
Three other Cardinals will bring winning records into Sunday’s match. Senior Elaina Sceusa (Morganville, NJ) is 10-5, including a 5-0 mark against Landmark Conference opponents during the regular season, and senior Caitlin Porter (Audubon, NJ) and junior Emma Needham (Wenham, Mass.) are 5-4 and 7-6, respectively. Freshman Eliana Martinez (Miami, Fla.) and Sceusa is the Cardinals’ most successful doubles team with an 11-4 record.
Winslow has the Royals rolling in her first season as head coach after a highly-successful career as head coach at nearby Marywood University from 1986 to 2007, where she led the Pacers to a 199-63 (.760) record, including 11 conference titles.
Scranton enters Sunday’s match having won five straight and nine of its last 10 matches, thanks, in part, to a lineup that features five players with winning records, led by Walsh and Azzalina at 12-0 and 12-3, respectively. Junior Nicole Mahaffey (Harrisburg, Pa./Trinity) is next at 11-1, followed by junior Lisa-Marie Lanciotti (Northport, NY/Kings Park) at 10-4 and senior Devon Cohen (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) at 8-7.
The Royals have also gotten an inspirational lift from senior
Stephanie Boccuzzi (Doylestown, Pa./Central
Bucks East), who has been hampered by an ankle injury yet
still manages to hold down the number one spot in the lineup in
both singles and doubles.
The winner of Sunday’s match will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championships.