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Women's Tennis Region 19 Champions

GCC Women's Tennis Region 19 Tournament Champions

October 13-14, 2012 Deptford, NJ

The GCC Women’s Tennis Team completed a dramatic comeback on Sunday afternoon to claim the colleges first NJCAA Region 19 Championship for the 2012-13 academic year. The Roadrunners needed to win their final three matches of the day to catch or pass tournament leader Ocean CC and did so with three doubles wins all by first year players in the program. The title is the first for Roadrunner Women’s Tennis since 2009 and now they automatically advance to the NJCAA Region 19 Tournament October 24-26 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.

The tournament’s first day on Saturday included several long matches that took center stage while the Roadrunners and Ocean CC quietly set the stage for several head to head matches on Sunday. GCC advanced to five of the six singles finals through their play on Saturday while Ocean advanced to four singles finals. Ocean also advanced to the finals in two doubles flights while the Roadrunners did in one and had to wait on the other until Sunday due to a suspension of play for darkness.

On Sunday, the day did not start as well as GCC would have liked. Despite playing well the Roadrunners won only two of their five singles final round matches while Ocean CC won three of their four matches. This gave Ocean CC a 15-12 advantage over the Roadrunners in the team point totals. Kelly Stanton (Williamstown HS) and Marissa DiCamillo (Smrnya, DE) were the Roadrunners winners at #5 and #6 singles, respectively. This set the stage for the tournament comeback as only three matches remained for GCC and they would need to win them all.

The Roadrunners all season have relied on their strong doubles play and this is where the work paid off. First the #2 doubles tandem of Terra McHenry (Pitman HS) and Tori Yeich (Pennsville HS) scored a 6-1, 6-2 win over Brookdale CC in the seminfinals earning two team points. Then Kelly Stanton and Jessica Barney (Washington Twp. HS) scored a 6-2, 6-4 win at #3 doubles in their finals match over Mercer CC to even the team score at 15-15. The only remaining matches in the tournament were the finals at #2 doubles between Gloucester and Ocean and at #1 doubles between Ocean and Brookdale CC.

McHenry and Yeich had played their opponents from Ocean on several occasions during the season in both singles and doubles and knew them well. With the hopes of the team riding on their shoulders they played their best tennis and pulled out a 7-5 first set and followed that with a blistering 6-2 second set where they were both consistent and also showed the ability to finish points with forehand winners and overheads. This gave the Roadrunners their first lead of the tournament but they still had to wait for the final match of the tournament to end to see if they would be outright champions or share the title with Ocean. When Brookdale CC finished the three set match with an overhead winner it made the Roadrunners the outright champs for the first time since 2009.

The team was most happy for team captain and second year player Jackie Hanley who has been the emotional leader of the team and will now get to experience a trip to the National Tournament for the first time. The next step will be a full week of practice and preparations for the NJCAA Nationals. It has already been a banner season that included a Garden State Athletic Conference championship, an 11-1 overall record and an NIT Tournament Championship earlier this season. The team would like to have a great showing at the National Tournament to end the season.

Final Team Standings
Gloucester 16
Ocean 15
Mercer 8
Brookdale 8
Bergen 1
Championship Match Results
Singles
#1 Smoke (Brookdale) d. Cabey (Ocean) 6-2, 6-2
#2 Wodell (Ocean) d. Duerstock (Gloucester) 6-1, 7-6
#3 Dennis (Ocean) d. McHenry (Gloucester) 6-3, 6-4
#4 Gaydos (Ocean) d. Yeich (Gloucester) 6-2, 6-2
#5 Stanton (Gloucester) d. Tanzone (Mercer) 6-0, 6-4
#6 DiCamilli (Gloucester) d. Hernandez (Mercer) 6-1, 6-2
Doubles
#1 Smoke/Kutzin (Brookdale) d. Cabey/Wodell (Ocean) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
#2 McHenry/Yeich (Gloucester) d. Dennis/Gaydos (Ocean) 7-5, 6-2
#3 Stanton/Barney (Gloucester) d. Tanzone/Hernandez (Mercer) 6-2, 6-4