MANCHESTER, N.H. – Kaitlin Hughes and Jess Perkins continued their strong starts to the season in singles and as a doubles team, but the University of New Haven snuck past the Saint Anselm College women's tennis team, 5-4, in Northeast-10 Conference action on Sunday afternoon at South Tennis Courts.
Saint Anselm (2-2, 1-2 NE10) took a 2-1 lead into singles play after doubles victories from the pairs of Perkins and Hughes and Meghan Golden and Tess Malerbi. Needing four points from singles, New Haven (2-5, 1-4 NE10) got exactly that, including wins in the final three singles matches on court.
Golden and Malerbi put the first point on the board with an 8-4 victory over Ashley Varrone and Angela Mercurio at No. 2 doubles to move to 3-1 on the season. Hughes and Perkins recorded their third-straight NE10 victory at No. 1 doubles to start the season by downing Lilia Rodriguez and Stephanie Gonzalez by an 8-5 margin. Nicole Calabrese and Caitlyn Burridge gave the Chargers a point courtesy of an 8-4 triumph over Eleni Petromelis and Kayla Hodas.
Hughes did not drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Varrone at No. 3 singles for her third victory of the season in four matches. After a Shelby Clyne victory at No. 6 singles for New Haven, Perkins cruised past Gonzalez 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles to remain unbeaten at 4-0. The two games Gonzalez won were the first for any Perkins opponent this season after three consecutive 6-0, 6-0 wins for the senior to start the fall.
With Saint Anselm up 4-2, New Haven grabbed the come-from-behind victory by winning the last three singles matches. Wins from Burridge and Rodriguez at No. 4 and No. 2 singles evened the match up at 4-4 with Mercurio and Lexi Stathis still on court at No. 5 singles. In the closest match of the day, Mercurio edged Stathis 6-4, 7-5 to give the Chargers the narrow win.
Saint Anselm begins a stretch of three-straight road matches next week by visiting Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday, Sept. 27 for a 3 p.m. match.