Losing in the America East Championship finals was a four-year tradition for the Binghamton University women’s tennis team. This year, however, the women didn’t even reach the finals, falling to second-seeded University of Maryland, Baltimore County 4-0 in the tournament semifinals.
On Friday, Binghamton (10-13) knocked off University of Hartford 4-0 to advance to the next round. The Bearcats clinched the doubles point with two 8-0 victories from seniors Emma Leibowicz and Jillian Santos in the No. 2 doubles and freshmen Taylor Hollander and Missy Edelblum at No. 3 doubles. Needing three more points to progress, senior Marina Bykovskaya and freshmen Katherine Medianik and Edelbum each notched 6-0, 6-1 victories to secure the win for the Bearcats. Santos, Hollander and Leibowicz also took their singles matches.
“We were very focused and driven,” Binghamton University head coach Libby McGovern said. “We went in and did what was needed to be successful.”
On Saturday, the Bearcats got off to a strong start against UMBC as the duo of Santos and Leibowicz captured the second doubles 8-2. But the Bearcats dropped their other two doubles matches to lose the doubles point. The Bearcats then fell in straight sets at No. 1, 2 and 6 singles to lose the overall match.
“We are disappointed,” McGovern said. “Nobody wants to have their season end like that. Everybody wants to win the title and go on. They came out really excited, energetic and loose but a couple of things did not go our way and we got a little tight, and, well, you kind of see the results.”
The loss marked the end of the collegiate careers of Santos, Bykovskaya and Leibowicz, who will graduate at the end of the semester.
“This year we had three solid seniors in our lineup,” McGovern said. “They are great leaders and captains and have provided a lot of things for the freshmen and the lineup to follow and emulate as they go along their careers. They are going to be much missed next year.”
Santos notched 86 wins in singles and 75 wins in doubles over the course of her career, leaving her at third on both all-time lists in the history of the Bearcats. Bykovskaya garnered 73 victories in singles, putting her at seventh place on the all-time list, while Leibowicz racked up 47 singles victories and 66 doubles wins.