Lions trounce competition

For the third consecutive year, the College has a Northeast Singles champion roaming the campus.

Sophomore Jackie Shtemberg returned from the International Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional tournament on Sunday with her second Northeast Singles title in two years.

Shtemberg defeated her doubles partner, senior Christina Contrafatto, 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals before defeating freshman Deborah Barany of Hamilton College 6-0, 6-1 to successfully defend her prestigious title.

“(Shtemberg) is very talented and athletic,” head coach Scott Dicheck said. “She has a good all-around game and seems to play her best at Regionals.”

Another player from the College, freshman Amanda Berg, made it to the semifinals but lost to Barany 7-6 (2), 6-1.

The ITA Northeast Regional tournament at William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y. began on Friday and finished on Sunday with the College producing both singles and doubles champs for the second year in a row.

The doubles champions were the dynamic duo of Shtemberg and Contrafatto. They defeated another College pair – Berg and sophomore Stephanie Haar – in the finals to clinch the title 8-5.

“It was the best result in my seven years as a coach at the College,” Dicheck said when asked what he thought of the team’s overall performance on the weekend.

So far this season, the women’s tennis team has been on an absolute tear. Following the 9-0 shutout of Rutgers University-Newark that began its New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) schedule, the College squared off against Richard Stockton College in Pomona, N.J., on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Going into the match, the Ospreys and Lions were each without a loss on the season. The Lions clipped the wings of the Ospreys with little difficulty, shutting them out 9-0.

In singles matches, Shtemberg defeated junior Christa Phillips 6-0, 6-0 while Berg took down sophomore Christy Alexander 6-1, 6-0. Continuing the trend of dominance, Contrafatto defeated sophomore Kelli Williams 6-1, 6-3, Haar defeated senior Jessica Victor 6-1, 7-6, and sophomore Sarah Roser defeated junior Shelly Sai 6-4, 6-3.

This victory over Stockton marked the 118th consecutive win for the College in NJAC matches. This extraordinary streak dates back to the creation of the conference in 1982.

“I think that the school brings in better and stronger players every year which definitely helps,” Shtemberg said.

“We remain competitive at all times and are always practicing hard and trying to get better, and we push each other to do better,” she continued. “We are going to be more dominant than ever this year.”

The Lions continued their reign as NJAC juggernauts, improving their streak to 119 matches and their 2007 record to 3-0 as they shut out Kean University 9-0 in Union, N.J., on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Shtemberg improved to 12-1 in the fall as she defeated senior Danielle Fardin 6-0, 6-0.

The rest of the team was equally dominant, winning nine games in six singles and three doubles matches.

“We hope to win the NJAC and keep the streak going,” Dicheck said.

Upcoming matches include William Paterson University and Ramapo College on Oct. 6 and the ITA Nationals from Oct. 10-14 in Mobile, Ala.