September 14, 2011



Newport, R.I.-Senior Gabriela Batek's (Greenville, RI) win at No. 2 singles was the Anchorwomen's lone victory in an 8-1 loss to Salve Regina on Wednesday afternoon. It was the first time the intrastate rivals have met on the court since 2006.


The Anchorwomen drop to 0-6 on the season. Salve Regina evens its overall record at 2-2 on the season while improving its series record with Rhode Island College to 14-10. The Seahawks have won the last three meetings in the series which started in 1983.



Senior Gabriela Batek


None of the players on the current squads were representing their institutions five years ago, so rivalry may be an overstatement. But today did produce three great singles battles each decided by a third-set, 10-point tiebreak.


he Seahawks swept the three doubles matches starting with an 8-1 win at No. 3 doubles from sophomore Annie Mallin (Fairfield, CT) and freshman Erica Shay (Concord, MA). At No. 2 doubles, the "O" team posted its first victory of the season as Shannon O'Brien (Gorham, ME) and Megan Olson (Colchester, VT) took an 8-3 decision. No. 1 doubles finished last as co-captains Ana Gwozdz (Taunton, MA) and Nichol Stevens (Chester, CT) won 8-5 over senior Batek and freshman Chelsea Brown (Wallingford, CT).


Seahawk sophomore Elizabeth Liguori (Westerly, RI) did not drop a game at No. 5 singles to give Salve Regina a 4-0 lead. Shay clinched the match with her third successive win at sixth singles. O'Brien added the sixth point with a straight-set win at No. 4 singles.


The top three singles matches all went in the Anchorwomen's favor for the first set. Brown posted a 6-0 score over Stevens at first singles while junior Doris Belanger (West Warwick, RI) won her first set, 6-4, at third singles over Gwozdz. Both matches were deep into their second sets before Batek rallied for a 7-6 (8-6) first set win at second singles over Salve Regina freshman Elizabeth DiFilippo (West Chester, PA).


Stevens, a senior, re-grouped with a variety of shots and pulled out a 6-1 second-set win. In the 10-point tiebreak, Brown won three straight points to take a 5-4 lead, but Stevens won the final six points of the match.


Gwozdz, who specialized in third-set tiebreaks last year as a freshman, erased two match points against while serving at 2-5 in the second set. Her calmness and confidence carried her to win four straight games and force a third set. Meanwhile, DiFilippo blanked Batek in the second set at second singles and forced a third set as well.


Batek relied on her ability to produce difficult short balls to vanquish DiFilippo in the tiebreak, 10-6. Gwozdz got an early lead in her tiebreak, but Belanger would not go quietly. The former Wizard played well retrieving a number of aggressive Gwozdz shots, but eventually succumbed 10-7 in the tiebreak.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will open Little East Conference play at UMass Boston on Saturday, Sept. 17.