Wildcats Top No. 9 Seed Connecticut, 4-1, to Open BIG EAST Championship
April 19, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. - In the first match of the BIG EAST Tennis Championship on Thursday morning No. 8 seed Villanova (10-11) defeated No. 9 seed Connecticut (6-11) by a final score of 4-1, advancing the Wildcats to a quarterfinal match against No. 1 seed Notre Dame on Friday morning.
Villanova defeated the Huskies for the second time this month and the close and well-balanced individual matches in today's conference tournament matchup were reminiscent of the 4-3 victory that the Wildcats tallied against Connecticut on April 1 at the West Campus Tennis Complex.
The freshmen tandem of Tim Abbracciamento (Robbinsville, N.J.) and Michael Rosengren (Sharon, Mass.) scored a win at No. 2 doubles to clinch the doubles point for Villanova and put the team on its way to the victory. The doubles matches were tied at 1-1 before Abbracciamento and Rosengren finished off an 8-6 victory over Dave Adams and Wei Lin to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the team scoring.
Sophomore Thomas O'Brien (Guilford, Conn.) eventually tallied the clinching team point in the match with his come-from-behind victory over Scott Warden in the No. 1 singles match. O'Brien rallied past Warden for a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory and set up tomorrow morning's meeting against the top-seeded Fighting Irish.
O'Brien also teamed with freshman Kelly Donaldson (Broomfield, Colo.) for an 8-5 win at first doubles over Warden and Jacob Spreyer.
The other singles victories for Villanova came from sophomore Matt Colonnese (Marietta, Ga.) in the No. 2 spot and freshman Mark Miller (Englewood, Colo.) at No. 6 singles. Miller defeated Teddy Margules in straight sets by scores of 6-3 and 6-3, while Colonnese outlasted Spreyer at No. 2 singles for a 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 victory.
Connecticut scored its only team point at No. 3 singles, where Adams defeated sophomore Ryan Peyton (Newport Beach, Calif.) in straight sets (6-3 and 6-2).
Today's victory over the Huskies advances the Wildcats to the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship for the second time in the last three years. Beginning with the quarterfinal round the conference tournament is a double-elimination format. The winner of Friday's match between Villanova and Notre Dame will play the winner of a match between No. 4 seed USF and No. 5 seed DePaul in the semifinals, while the losers of those matches will shift to the consolation bracket.
NOTES: Rosengren and Abbracciamento were playing their No. 4 and No. 5 singles matches when O'Brien clinched the outcome ... Rosengren was ahead of Lin by a score of 7-6, 6-5 and Abbracciamento was in the third set against Ryan Carr (6-7, 6-3, 4-0) ... O'Brien, Abbracciamento and Miller all scored singles wins over Connecticut in the first meeting between the teams earlier in the month ... Today's victory was the seventh in the last 10 matches for the Wildcats.
VILLANOVA 4, CONNECTICUT 1
1. Thomas O'Brien/Kelly Donaldson (VU) defeated Scott Warden/Jacob Spreyer (UCONN) 8-5
(*) denotes the clinching match for the doubles point
1. Thomas O'Brien (VU) defeated Scott Warden (UCONN) 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 (*)
(*) denotes the clinching team point of the match