On a blustery and chilly day at the CSI Tennis Center, the College of Staten Island women’s tennis squad took a decisive first step in defense of its CUNYAC Championship, turning back visiting York College by a 5-0 count this afternoon, catapulting the Dolphins into semifinal play.  CSI will next face Brooklyn College at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY on Wednesday at 5pm, in what will be a rematch of last year’s final.  CSI won for the sixth straight time, improving to 9-3, while York finalized its season at 1-10.

Play began with doubles and CSI took an immediate 3-0 lead.  The team of Sabrina Bragerton-Nasert and Madiha Mulla, having gone undefeated at No. 2 Doubles all season long, got the start at the top spot today, and scored an 8-2 winner over YC’s Sarah Hilaire and Danielle Dunn.  First to come off the courts was the tandem of Aziza Jurabaeva and Viktoriya Volkova, and they stormed past the duo of Julia Asoeva and Farrah Khalfan, 8-0 in the No. 3 position.  It took a little more time, but normal No. 1 Doubles tandem Nozima Toshpulatova and Michelle Kushnir, playing at No. 2 paced themselves to an 8-2 win over YC’s Joanne Ly and Victoria Torres.

Needing only two points to clinch victory, CSI got the first from Bragerton-Nasert, who powered through a 6-0, 6-0, performance over Hilaire to put CSI on the brink of victory.  Her doubles partner, Mulla then clinched things just minutes later, scoring the same score victory at No. 4 Singles over Asoeva.  Once the fifth point was scored, play ceased at the other flights.  CSI had a one-set lead in the other flights at the time of the stoppage.

The win for the Dolphins put them against Brooklyn in semifinal play.  CSI was able to score a 7-2 win over BC in the regular season, but the Bulldogs were without ace and reigning CUNYAC Player of the Year Yuliya Orkis, so the semifinal should be heavily contested.  The Dolphins defeated the Bulldogs in last year’s final as well, 5-4.  Brooklyn got past Lehman College in their semifinal, 5-1.  In other quarterfinal play, No. 4 Baruch scored a 5-2 win over No. 5 John Jay.  Hunter College, the tournament’s top-seed, earned a first round bye.  They will face Baruch in their half of semifinal play, having beaten the Bearcats during the regular season, 7-2.