Mt. Hope tennis

Mt. Hope tennis team to face Prout in D-II championship 

Huskies sink Portsmouth, 4-2, in semifinals

Story and photos by Richard W. Dionne, Jr. 
Posted 10/30/21

Two straight days, the Mt. Hope second doubles team of Zelda Hayes and Laney Dufficy won tough matches to seal the deal for the Huskies and spring the team into the Division two state championship to face Prout at Slater Park on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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Mt. Hope tennis

Mt. Hope tennis team to face Prout in D-II championship 

Huskies sink Portsmouth, 4-2, in semifinals

Posted

Two straight days, the Mt. Hope second doubles team of Zelda Hayes and Laney Dufficy won tough matches to seal the deal for the Huskies and spring the team into the Division two state championship to face Prout at Slater Park on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Hayes and Dufficy won a three set, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, come from behind victory over Portsmouth’s Kailey Bergeron and Lillian Riordan to clinch the semifinals match, 4-2, for the Huskies at Roger Williams University on Friday afternoon. 

On Thursday, the duo beat Maria Fontaine and Eva St. Germaine of North Providence, 7-5, 7-6 (10-8), to secure a 4-1 quarterfinals victory for Mt. Hope.

“The last two days the girls have played their hearts out,” said Head coach Geoff Keegan. “They left it all out on the court.”   

Singles play

Eva White, the Huskies second singles player, was the first to score a point for the Huskies during the semifinals match. The senior beat Portsmouth’s Dylan O’Connor in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. After her match, White cheered on her teammates. 

Talus Nightingale of Portsmouth defeated White's sister, Elsa, 6-4, 6-4, in the first singles match to even the score 1-1.  White, a sophomore, played well, but had difficulty with Nightingale's  strong ground strokes and crosses.

The rest of the matches went three sets. Huskies fourth singles player Ella Quesnelle beat Brooke Morrissey in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead. 

First doubles team Aditi Mehta and Emily Marino battled back after the losing the first set, to beat Abbie Dutra and Emily O’Connor, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, and give Mt. Hope a 3-1 advantage. The seniors, playing in their first post season, played tentatively in the first set, but a few overhand winners at the net by Mehta and Merino cured the pair and they  took back control of the match. 

They started playing more like themselves," said Coach Keegan. “They came in with playoff nerves and then got back to their game.”

In the far court, Many of the players and fans walked down to watch third singles  player Cate Merriam who was enthralled in an epic match with Portsmouth’s Kat Deus. Merriam held a 5-4 advantage in the third set and looked to finally have an edge in the match. But it was Deus who battled back, using drop shots and lobs, to disrupt Merriam and move her off the baseline. The steady Merriam tied the set, 6-6, but lost the tie breaker and the match, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3) dropping the Mt. Hope lead  to 3-2. 

As the third doubles teams began their match at midcourt, Hayes and Dufficy were weaving their gem. They lost the first set tie breaker and went down 4-2 in the second set. The pair fought back to even the set 6-6 and win the tie breaker 7-3. With the hard part over, Hayes and Dufficy breezed through the last set, 6-1, and sealed the deal for the Huskies. 

“The girls played awesome,” Coach Keegan said. “We played well at all of the singles and doubles spots. We feel good about what’s to come.”

Huskies are on a mission

The Huskies beat Prout, 4-3, during the regular season, but Coach Keegan isn’t finding comfort in that fact. The Huskies lost to both North Providence and Portsmouth during the regular season and beat them back to back in the playoffs. 

“We are on a mission,” Coach Keegan said. “We need to capitalize and play the 110 percent that we’ve showed so far in the playoffs.” 

 Scores

Singles

Talus Nightingale, Portsmouth defeated Elsa White, Mt. Hope

6-4, 6-4

Eva White, Mt. Hope defeated Dylan O'Connor, Portsmouth

6-1, 6-2

Kat Deus, Portsmouth defeated Cate Merriam, Mt. Hope

6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3)

Ella Quesnelle, Mt. Hope defeated Brooke Morrissey, Portsmouth

6-2, 4-6, 6-4

 

Doubles

Aditi Mehta and Emily Marino, Mt. Hope defeated Abbie Dutra and Emerson O'Connor, Portsmouth

3-6, 6-2, 6-2

Laney Dufficy and Zelda Hayes, Mt. Hope defeated Kailey Bergeron and Lillian Riordan, Portsmouth

6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-1

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