DiFilippo, O'Brien, Stevens earn all-conference honors
NEWPORT, R.I. - After winning in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women's Tennis Championships quarterfinal round on Tuesday, Salve Regina University learned it had three players earn all-conference accolades in voting by the league's coaches as announced by commissioner Gregg M. Kaye.
Senior co-captain Nichol Stevens (Chester, Conn.) earned first team All-CCC recognition in her first season as the team's No. 1 singles player. She helped the Seahawks finish fourth in the conference regular season which landed Salve Regina a home playoff date.
Salve Regina defeated Curry College, 5-4, behind four singles wins and a doubles triumph from Stevens and her junior partner Shannon O'Brien (Gorham, Maine). The duo garnered honorable mention All-CCC doubles recognition and carry an unblemished record (5-0) into the conference semifinals against top-seeded Nichols College on Wed., Oct. 19 (2 p.m.).
The team's No. 2 singles player, freshman Elizabeth DiFilippo (West Chester, Pa.), impressed CCC coaches as they selected her to the honorable mention All-CCC singles team. The first-year lefty leads the Seahawks in three-set matches played.
DiFilippo pairs with sophomore co-captain Ana Gwozdz (Taunton, Mass.) to participate in the New England Women's Invitational Tennis Tournament (NEWITT) this weekend. The Federation Cup-style event is hosted by three Division III institutions in Western Massachusetts - Amherst, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.
"One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to make continuous improvement," says Seahawk head coach Ed Habershaw, who earned the 200th victory of his career with the women's program on October 7. "As we extend our season Nickie, Shannon, and Liz are playing their best tennis. So proud of their recognition by the conference and I know they'll continue to work on improving."
The top-seeded Bison are represented on the all-conference team with the player of the year (Anna Dyakiv), rookie of the year (Lindsay Benoit), and coach of the year (Paul Brower). Western New England's Chrissy Barbarisi was picked as senior scholar athlete of the year and Gordon College was tabbed with the sportsmanship award.