April 17, 2014
Video Previews: Athanasiadis | Davis
Patriot League: Championship Central | Tournament Preview
BOSTON - Seeking its first NCAA bid since 2011, the top-seeded Boston University women's tennis team will open the Patriot League Tournament on Friday at Bucknell's Varsity Courts with quarterfinals set for 9 a.m. In the event of inclement weather, competition will move to the West Branch Tennis Club in Williamsport, Pa.
Led by 29th-year head coach Lesley Sheehan, the Terriers (11-6) have claimed a total of 22 conference titles and 13 NCAA postseason appearances. Despite beating the top three America East teams last year by a combined score of 17-2, they were banned from the conference tournament due to the move to the Patriot League.
BU enters this weekend's PL tournament riding a five-match win streak and is coming off last Sunday's 7-0 sweep against nine-time defending conference champion Army. The Terriers won a hard-fought doubles point that was decided by a tiebreaker and then coasted in singles by capturing five points in straight sets.
The Black Knights had previously won 65 straight matches against conference opponents dating back to 2002. Named PL Player of the Month in March, sophomore Johanna Hyoty led the way by first teaming with senior Leonie-Charlotte Athanasiadis for a No. 1 doubles win and then coasting past 2013 PL All-Conference First Team honoree Jamila Paul.
Athanasiadis and junior Sami Lieb are the only two Terriers with previous conference tournament experience. Athanasiadis clinched the championship point in 2011 at No. 5 singles for a 4-3 victory over Binghamton. In the 2012 America East semifinals loss to Stony Brook (4-3), she dropped a No. 2 singles contest in three sets. A freshman that year, Lieb lost a tiebreaker at No. 3 doubles.
This season, Athanasiadis owns a 9-6 record at No. 3 singles and 11-3 mark in doubles with Hyoty, including 5-1 record in the top slot. Lieb has focused on singles this spring and enters the PL tournament with an 11-6 record, including 5-1 mark in the No. 4 spot.
Hyoty and 2013 America East All-Conference First Team member Lauren Davis are a combined 22-8 in singles to lead the Terriers. Hyoty is 7-2 at No. 1, while Davis has the same record at No. 2.
Sophomore Kim McCallum and freshman Barbara Rodriguez are also expected to be key contributors this weekend. McCallum is 7-2 at No. 6 singles, while Rodriguez is 7-7 overall with a 3-1 mark in the No. 5 slot. In No. 3 doubles, McCallum is 7-5 with classmate Madison Craft, while Rodriguez has a 5-3 record in the No. 2 slot with Davis.
The winner of the PL title will learn of its destination on Tuesday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. on the NCAA.com Selection Show.
2014 Patriot League Women's Tennis Tournament
Thursday, April 17 - First Round
No. 8 Lafayette vs. No. 9 Holy Cross - 3 p.m.
Friday, April 18 - Quarterfinals
No. 1 Boston University vs. No. 8/9 Lafayette/Holy Cross winner - 9 a.m.
No. 4 Bucknell vs. No. 5 Lehigh - 11 a.m.
No. 2 Army vs. No. 7 Colgate - 2 p.m.
No. 3 Navy vs. No. 6 Loyola - 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 19 - Semifinals
Boston University/Lafayette/Holy Cross vs. Bucknell/Lehigh - 11 a.m.
Army/Colgate vs. Navy/Loyola - 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 20 - Championship
Semifinal winners - Noon