EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School girls’ tennis team opened up its 2013 Division II regular season schedule Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 4, against visiting Chariho, but the final score, a 4-3 Townie loss, was an unfortunate reminder of how things went for the locals a year ago.
About a half hour before match time Tuesday, East Providence head coach Kathy Dias remarked about how she hoped her Townies could turn a number of narrow one-point losses last fall into wins this time around. The locals, however, couldn’t turn the trick their first time out this season.
The Chargers, who like the Townies went 2-10 a year ago in league matches, swept all four singles outings Tuesday.
E.P. freshman Tess Amore, the expected No. 2 for the locals this season, played a superb debut match while going the three-set distance before falling to Chariho’s Katherine Bodell 6-8, 6-4 and 6-4 at first singles. Amore was subbing for absent E.P. No. 1 and senior co-captain Erica Dutra.
A southpaw, Amore shook some understandable early jitters to take control of the first set late, hitting crisp groundstrokes and consistently getting her serves in. Bodell, a junior, was visibly shaken in dropping the opening set, but earned an early break of serve in the second while finding the range with her hard, flat groundies. She also picked up her serve percentage as Amore’s started to falter. She used the same formula en route to holding on for the win in the third set.
The Townies were competitive in the other three solo outings, but couldn’t muster a point as senior co-captain Melanie Gorman lost 4-and-3 at No. 2, senior Liza Anderson fell 3-and-1 at No. 3 and junior Jena Pothier lost 4-and-4 at No. 4.
East Providence picked up all three of its points with a sweep of the doubles matches. The teams of Hayley Sisto-Ava Mastrostefano (4-6, 6-4, 6-4), Michelle Phillips-Carolyn Conti, (5-7, 6-4, 12-10 pro set) and Lauren Vine-Grace Voll (6-3, 6-4) were each victorious.
The remaining members of the E.P. squad this fall include Lauren Landry and Madison Eastman.
“I feel good about the team. I’m positive. I think things are looking up,” Dias, entering her fourth season as the E.P. head coach, said of her side. “We lost five seniors off last year’s team who all played, but we have some nice players.
“Tess Amore looks very promising. She’s going to be our No. 2. We have five seniors and five juniors, who are all returning. My top four singles players (Dutra, Amore, Gorman and Anderson) all play and took lessons over the summer. What would make me happy would be for us to get a couple more wins under our belts, so the girls feel good about themselves and see growth from year-to-year. We had a number of 4-3 losses last year. I’d like to see us win a few of those this year, so the kids see the improvement they’ve made.”
The Townies return to action Friday afternoon, Sept. 7, at home against Narragansett at 3:30.