NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Jess Perkins and Kaitlin Hughes combined for all three points for the Saint Anselm College women's tennis team, as host Merrimack College defeated the Hawks 6-3 on Friday afternoon at North Andover High School.
Perkins and Hughes teamed for a victory at No. 1 doubles and won their matches at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, respectively, for Saint Anselm (5-7, 4-7 NE10). However, Merrimack (7-5, 7-5 NE10) remained in contention for a spot in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship by rebounding from back-to-back losses to Stonehill and Le Moyne.
At No. 1 doubles, Perkins and Hughes put together an 8-2 victory over Mana Seifaei and Danielle Dunn to run their record to 8-3 on the season with their third-straight victory. The Warriors claimed a 2-1 advantage heading into singles after wins from the pairs of Mia Briggs and Cassie Restrepo and Mackenzie Blair and Lauren Persson at the other two doubles positions.
Perkins, who was the fourth-ranked player in the East Region in the latest Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released last May, made it six-straight wins at No. 1 singles with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Seifaei. The victory moved the senior to 11-1 overall (10-1 NE10) this season and is 56-9 in her singles career.
Hughes was also victorious in straight sets, downing Dunn, 6-2, 6-1, at the third spot to improve to 9-3 overall and 8-3 in the NE10 this fall. Eight of the sophomore's nine wins have come in straight sets and her nine victories rank second on the team to Perkins' 11.
Persson, Restrepo, Briggs and Blair all picked up victories in their singles matches for Merrimack. The match between Blair and Maikah Bulpitt at No. 6 singles was the lone singles match to go the distance, with Blair edging Bulpitt 6-4, 2-6, 10-2.
Saint Anselm concludes its fall schedule by visiting Adelphi University for an 11 a.m. match on Sunday, Oct. 15. The Panthers (10-1, 9-1 NE10) sit in a tie for second in the NE10 with Assumption, trailing only unbeaten Stonehill (9-0, 8-0 NE10).