Portsmouth girls' tennis team wins 4th straight

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PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth girls' tennis team won its fourth straight match Friday afternoon, defeating North Providence at home, 7-0.

The team is now 5-3 and at the top of Division-II Suburban A.

Although the final score seems lopsided, coach Judy Colman pointed out that the No. 2, 3 and 4 singles players were all extended to three sets.

"They were all doubles players last year, so they’re still learning the ropes playing singles," said Ms. Colman. "They’re getting their feet wet still but it’s starting to feel more comfortable for them. They’re having challenges, but that’s OK."

Unfortunately, No. 2 singles player Taylor MacLeod will be out, possibly for the remainder of the season, in order to rest her wrist.

Hailey O'Connell will be playing now at the No.4 singles position and Jamie Hole and Caroline Farrow and will be bumping up to No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively. Senior Annie Heffernan will be playing No. 1 doubles with Libby Goulart to fill the spot Hailey left.

The team, which suffered back-to-back-to-back losses to Narragansett, Toll Gate and Westerly before starting its winning ways again, lost five seniors from last year.

“Four of them were playing in the top 10, including our No. 1 and number No. 1 top singles. Our No. 1 doubles (team) was two seniors, also. We lost the powerhouse spots. But actually, we’re staying strong, I think. We’re rebuilding," said Ms. Colman.

The team is scheduled to play Providence Country Day today, Sept. 30, Lincoln High on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and Cumberland on Thursday, Oct. 3. The playoffs begin the week of Oct. 14.

In addition, No. 1 singles player Julia Harrigan, a senior who's 7-1 following Friday's win, played in the state qualifying tournament at Slater Park in Pawtucket Saturday along with Jamie Hole, the new No. 2. Although both players are representatives of their Portsmouth team, they are playing as individuals in the state tournament, scheduled for Oct. 11-13.

Here are the complete scores from Friday's match with North Providence (PHS players listed first):

• No. 1 singles: Julia Harrigan (senior) defeated Daniella Chavez, 6-3, 6-0

• No. 2 singles: Taylor MacLeod (junior) defeated Amy Zhang, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3

• No. 3 singles: Jamie Hole (junior) defeated Diana Perez, 6-1, 2-6, 6-1

• No. 4 singles: Caroline Farrow (sophomore) defeated Kellly Saccuccio, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0

• No. 1 doubles: Hailey O'Connell (sophomore)/Libby Goulart (junior) defeated Michelle Winter/Caitlyn Vallee, 6-0, 6-1

• No. 2 doubles: Kathleen Brown (junior)/Paige Colman (junior) defeated Nikita Moreira/Blessing Oyudokin, 6-0, 6-2

• No. 3 doubles Fr. Morgan Crimmins (freshman)/Tori Kirby (junior) defeated Michaela Fornaro/Jamie Plouff, 6-3, 6-1

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.