E-town defeats women’s tennis in championship

photo courtesy of scranton athletics SENIOR CO-CAPTAIN Megan Azzalina returns a shot in a match at the Royal Courts earlier this season. Azzalina won both of her matches in the team’s 5-2 loss to Elizabethtown College in the Landmark Conference Championship Saturday. The team finished 6-1 in the Landmark Conference. Before the loss, the Royals won three straight Landmark Conference Championships.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SCRANTON ATHLETICS
SENIOR CO-CAPTAIN Megan Azzalina returns a shot in a match at the Royal Courts earlier this season. Azzalina won both of her matches in the team’s 5-2 loss to Elizabethtown College in the Landmark Conference Championship Saturday. The team finished 6-1 in the Landmark Conference. Before the loss, the Royals won three straight Landmark Conference Championships.

FRANCESCO CAMPESE
Staff Writer

The women’s tennis team hoped to win its fourth straight Landmark Championship against first-seeded Elizabethtown College Saturday but came up short, losing 5-2.

Highlights included senior Megan Azzalina winning her singles match and, alongside senior Nicole Mahaffey, her doubles match. Azzalina said the team gave a great effort.

“It was definitely a tough loss, but we left all we had on the court,” Azzalina said.

“E-town was just the better team that day, but on any other given day I like our chances against them. I think our girls next year are definitely capable of having great success.”

Azzalina and Mahaffey’s doubles match was the second match of the day and gave the Royals their first match win of the day, defeating Elizabethtown’s Lauren Berry and Taylor Helsel 8-6.

With her 47th singles win, Azzalina surpasses Ashlee Wydra for first place on the Royals’ all-time list. Her 45 doubles victories are the most in school history.

Mahaffey also found her way into the record book as her 40th career victory in doubles put her at the second most in school history.

She finished her career with 41 singles victories, just short of Azzalina’s and Wydra’s records.

In total, the Royals went 1-2 in doubles matches on the day and 1-3 in singles matches, with two matches going unfinished because Elizabethtown had won the majority.

The Royals went 12-5 on the season and 6-1 within the conference, narrowly losing to Elizabethtown just a few weeks prior to the championship.

The Landmark Conference Championship was the last game of Azzalina’s career.

“I am going to miss playing tennis at The University a lot. I have been involved with many clubs and activities here, but tennis is very special to me,” Azzalina said.

“I have my lifelong friends on the team who I know I will be in contact with after my time here. I have met mentors from the team who have helped me make my own path, and I am so glad for the experience.”

Even with two of the winningest players on the team leaving, the future looks bright as current juniors Courtney Barron and Emily Walsh look to continue the Royals’ conference domination in the 2015-16 season.

With their last season closing, Azzalina, Mahaffey and senior Lisa-Marie Lanciotti all share the bittersweet moment of leaving the courts for the last time, but their impacts on the team and the sport at The University will live on.

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