March 2, 2003
(Tampa, FL - March 1) The Siena College Women's Tennis Team posted it first win ever in Florida with a 4-3 victory over Hillsborough Community College. The Saints were led by their Awesome Foursome of #1 Nikki Mayer (Shaker/Latham, NY), #2 Andrea Disponzio (Farmingdale/Farmingdale, NY), #3 Denisa Hluchova (St. Francis Prep/ Piestany, Slovakia) and #4 Rali Hristova (Sofia, Bulgaria).
Hillsborough jumped out to a 1-0 taking the doubles point by capturing 2 of the 3 matches. The only Siena win was posted by Disponzio and Brooke Fisher (John Jay/Katonah, NY) at number 2. The Saint's came back in the singles with Hristova posting first victory followed by Disponzio and Hluchova to take a 3-1 lead. Hillsborough wasn't done though as their number 5 & 6 players squeaked out wins over Betsy Brookins (Bethlehem/Delmar, NY) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 and Brooke Fisher 7-5, 7-6 to tie the score at 3-3.
Meanwhile, #1 Nikki Mayer was in a tough struggle with Hillsbrough's Melanie Eng. Mayer breezed through the 1st set 6-0 and was up 2-0 in the 2nd when the roof fell in. Eng went on to take the set 6-4 and force a 3rd. Mayer fell behind 1-2 in the 3rd before righting herself to take 5 of the next 6 games for set and the match for the Siena women.
"I've been working all winter trying to move in a couple of steps and take the ball earlier," Mayer said after the match, but I'm just not comfortable there yet" I got a little nervous in the 2nd set and that's when I lost it. I settled down in the 3rd and was able to come back to close it out."
Siena Head Coach, Jeff Bloomberg, was pleasantly surprised by the fine showing his team made. "I knew with the Silent Assassin (Disponzio) back we'd be better but I didn't expect her to be as ready to play as she was today, he commented. "She hasn't played a match since last April having been studying in Italy tghis past fall. In fact, I was surprised with how ready everyone was to play! This was our first time outside this year and to play that well on a hot (80 degree), humid day was unbelievable."
The Saint's next match is schedulked for Monday against Duquense in Orlando.
1. Nikki Mayer (S) def. Melanie Eng (6-0, 4-6 and 6-3)
2. Andrea Disponzio (S) def Emily Pratt (6-3, 6-2)
3. Denisa Hluchova (S) def Vero Duchense (6-3, 6-2)
4. Rali Hristova (S) def Holly Lee (6-2, 6-1)
5. Katherine Ptak (H) def Betsy Brookins (6-2, 2-6 and 6-2)
6. RisaYamaguchi (H) def Brooke Fisher (7-5, 7-6(3))
1. Eng/Pratt (H) def Mayer/Hluchova (8-5)
2. Disponzio/ Fisher (S) def Ptak/Duchense (8-6)
3. Lee/Yamaguchi (H) def Meghan Slenkamp/Eileen Gallocher (8-4)