ECC champion women's tennis ranked fifth in East Region

Alessia Rossetti (left) and Lena Dimmer.
Alessia Rossetti (left) and Lena Dimmer.

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The NYIT women's tennis team already has clinched an NCAA Tournament berth for this spring by virtue of winning its sixth straight East Coast Conference title back in October.

Now, the Bears have been placed in the No. 5 slot in the newly released Oracle/ITA Division II East Region rankings.

The good news: The Bears already defeated top-ranked Queens College for the ECC title on Oct. 28, avenging a regular-season loss. And No. 2 Goldey-Beacom (April 13) and No. 3 Concordia (April 10) both appear on the limited spring schedule, providing head-to-head opportunities for NYIT to improve its regional ranking.

"The team pulled off a miraculous season-ending victory to win the ECC title in the fall," coach Owen Kassimir said. "With the addition of Ann-Kathrin Zilles, we should be able to once again do well in the NCAA Regionals this spring."

Of course, NYIT's roster is headlined by Lena Dimmer and Alessia Rossetti.

Dimmer, the ECC Player of the Year, owns the top singles ranking in the region. She defeated No. 3 seed Kornelia Staniszewska of Augustana, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), in the ITA Oracle Cup quarterfinals in October for NYIT's first victory in the women's singles winners bracket at the national championships since 2013. Dimmer also teamed with Rossetti to reach ITA Oracle Cup doubles finals.

Rossetti, a first-team All-ECC selection, is ranked fifth in the region in singles.

Meanwhile, sophomore Ivana Andric is the reigning ECC Rookie of the Year and is No. 7 in the regional singles rankings.

Andric won the decisive match in three sets against Laura Ortega Jover at third singles on Oct. 28 as NYIT defeated top-seeded Queens, 5-4, to earn a sixth straight ECC title.

As for Zilles, she already has arrived on campus from her native Germany for new student orientation. A junior eligibility-wise, Zilles earned a first-team NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Award while participating with the North Central Texas College women's tennis program in 2016-17. She also has represented Eastern Florida State College.

The full regional rankings:

1. Queens (N.Y.)
2. Goldey-Beacom
3. Concordia (N.Y.)
4. Adelphi
5. NYIT
6. Stonehill
7. LIU Post
8. Wilmington
9. Le Moyne
10. Southern New Hampshire