ECC champion women's tennis falls to D-I NJIT in first match since earning league title

Ann-Kathrin Zilles' NYIT debut lasted only three games before Friday's match concluded.
Ann-Kathrin Zilles' NYIT debut lasted only three games before Friday's match concluded.

GLENWOOD LANDING, N.Y. — For the first time since a dramatic victory in the East Coast Conference finals back in October, the NYIT women's tennis team competed on Friday. And the Bears had a credible performance against Division I NJIT before ultimately falling, 5-2, at Robbie Wagner's Tournament Training Center.

The match ended when reigning East Coast Conference Player of the Year Lena Dimmer fell at first singles to NJIT's Advaita Saravanan, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Alessia Rossetti, ranked fifth in singles in the East Region for Division II, won both of her matches for NYIT. She won, 6-2, 6-3, at second singles over Mayar Eltony and teamed with Kaitlyn Byrnes for a 6-4 victory at second doubles.

"It was a tough match, because it's a D-I school," Rossetti said. "They made us work a lot. Tomorrow we're going to be sore, but we're going to keep going with the practices."

NYIT (8-4) already has clinched a berth in the NCAA Championships by winning the ECC postseason title over Queens in the finals.

Meanwhile, making her NYIT debut on Friday, junior-college transfer Ann-Kathrin Zilles was leading Ines Vujkovac, 2-1, at sixth singles when Dimmer fell and the match concluded. Zilles, who hails from Friedrichshafen, Germany, previously competed for North Central Texas College and Eastern Florida State College.

"I didn't know how the level would be because it was a D-I opponent, so I was kind of nervous about that," Zilles said. "But it went well."