For the third straight year, the College of Staten Island women’s tennis squad will be heading over to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows to participate in the City University of New York Athletic Conference Championship Final, and this year, the Dolphins will be doing it as defending champs and the team couldn’t be more ready. The No. 2 seeded Dolphins will be facing off against the top-seeded Hunter College Hawks, who won the championship for 13-straight seasons before they were dethroned last year by the Dolphins in the CUNYAC Semifinals. First serve time is scheduled for 4:00pm.
Today’s match will take place with much on the line. The winner will be awarded the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament this spring. CSI made its first appearance in the NCAA’s last year, winning their first title since 1999 with a 5-4 win over Brooklyn College in last year’s Final. To get to the Final, the Dolphins knocked off Hunter College in semifinal play, marking the end of an incredible championship run for the Hawks that saw them take home the CUNYAC crown from 2000-2013.
The Hawks partially avenged that loss this season, when they defeated the Dolphins during the regular season, 7-2. Both teams would finish with identical 5-1 records during the CUNYAC Regular Season, but the Hawks’ victory over CSI gave them the tiebreaker and the regular season title, along with the top-seed in the playoffs. The top-seed gave them a first-round bye in the playoffs, before they defeated Baruch College in their semifinal tilt, 5-3. Their advance to the Final is their first since 2012, when they defeated the Dolphins.
Despite the final score during the regular season, the Dolphins know they have good footing for their match today. Two of Hunter’s seven wins in that match were won via third-set tiebreakers, and another match in Singles and Doubles play proved very close. Obviously is CSI is able to swing a few of those losses into wins this time around, it should make the Final incredibly competitive. CSI also has momentum working in their favor. Since that loss to Hunter back on September 24, CSI has ripped off seven straight wins, and are riding high after a thrilling 5-4 win against Brooklyn on Sunday.
Today’s match is FREE for all spectators at the National Tennis Center. Tickets are needed for the event but are readily available and will also be available at the grounds. To get advanced tickets for entry, log on to the CUNYAC website HERE.