Jeffs Down Top-Seed to Reach National Semifinals
AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Amherst women's tennis advances to its first-ever Final Four with an upset of top-seeded Trinity University (TX). Making its fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, women's tennis will battle for a place in the Championship match tomorrow at 12:00pm.
The Jeffs took a 3-0 lead into singles competition after all three doubles teams handled Trinity, 8-2, 8-2 and 8-4. Rookie Jamie Cohen (Rye, NY) and junior Neely Steinberg (Concord, MA) extended their undefeated spring seasons to 11-0 and 12-0, respectively. Cohen claimed a 6-1 win at No. 1 singles while Steinberg cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 3. Steinberg and partner Pam Diamond (Trumbull, CT) also bettered their record to 11-0 with an 8-2 victory at No. 1 doubles. Rookie Carolyn Pastel (Greensburg, PA) added the sixth victory for Amherst at No. 6 singles, 6-0, 6-0.
Trinity had eliminated Amherst from the 1997 NCAA Tournament when the Tigers posted a 6-3 victory in the Quarterfinals over the Jeffs.
Amherst advances to its first-ever Final Four, where the Jeffs will meet Skidmore at on Thursday. Both the Championship and Consolation matches will be played at 10:00am on Friday. Women's tennis is only the third Amherst squad to reach the Final Four in any NCAA Tournament since the New England Small College Athletic Conference lifted its ban on NCAA post-season competition in 1993. Earlier this year, men's soccer had advanced to the Final Four after women's soccer had hosted the National Championship in 1996.
Following team competition, three student-athletes will remain in Virginia to compete for Individual Championships. Cohen and Diamond have been selected as two of the top 32 singles players in the nation, while Diamond and Steinberg will compete with 15 other doubles squads for a National Championship. This is the third-straight invitation Diamond has received for the Individual Championships.
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