Flushing, N.Y. - Make it a seven-peat for the NYIT women's tennis team.
And freshman sensation Barbie Quagliardi — the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's East Region champion — carried the Bears over the finish line despite twisting an ankle early in her match at first singles.
Second-seeded NYIT edged top-seeded Queens, 4-3, to earn a seventh straight title on Sunday when Quagliardi rallied to defeat Reehan Rashad, 7-5, in a winner-take-all third set.
Quagliardi, who trailed 3-1 in the decisive set, ultimately broke Rashad's serve to take a 5-4 lead. However, Rashad returned the favor to make it 5-5 both teams and other spectators focused their attention on the court and loudly reacted to each point.
Undeterred, Quagliardi clinched the match by claiming the next two games.
The Bears improved to 14-2 overall and clinched an NCAA Championships berth in the spring.
One of those defeats came, 4-3, to Queens during the regular season. The other came to Division I Hofstra.
Quagliardi had defeated Rashad, 6-3, 6-3, during the regular-season meeting, but had a far more difficult time in the championship match. It did not help that Quagliardi had twisted an ankle during the first set, which forced her to labor during the remainder of the match.
"This was the most intense session of watching a match I've had in two years of coaching," coach Owen Kassimir said. "The women all performed well. With the match tied at 3 and Barbie with an ankle injury, she grit her teeth and stuck with it to win the match and the championship."
Provided by NYIT Sports Information department.