Tennis team pounds Prout 6-1, starts season 4-1

Photos and story by Richard W. Dionne, Jr.
Posted 9/24/23

The senior laden Mt. Hope tennis team pounded Prout 6-1 in a home match on Wednesday afternoon. The win boosted the Huskies record to 4-1 in Division I, with their lone loss, a 7-0 drubbing by …

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Tennis team pounds Prout 6-1, starts season 4-1


The senior laden Mt. Hope tennis team pounded Prout 6-1 in a home match on Wednesday afternoon. The win boosted the Huskies record to 4-1 in Division I, with their lone loss, a 7-0 drubbing by LaSalle. But of late, it’s been Mt. Hope doing the drubbing especially first singles player Elsa White, a senior, who came into the season with an improved serve, ground strokes and strategy. 

“Elsa is amazing,” said first year head coach Andrew Sabourin. “She has stepped up her game this season. She is playing more aggressive, going for winners, working on placement and attacking more at the net. I think that she’s one of the top four girls in the state. It’s been difficult for us to even win a point against her during practice.”

White beat Prout’s first singles player Mia Renzulli in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. She is now 4-1 for the season. 

“We have a great group of seniors. The goal this year is to be above .500 and win a playoff round,” said Coach Sabourin.

Second singles player, senior Ella Quesnelle beat Maddie Mattiucci in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. 

“Ella is a consistent baseline player,” said Coach Sabourin. “She’s got great endurance. We are hoping that she’ll make the individual tournament this year.”

Third singles player, senior Siena Sousa, moved up from second doubles this season. She beat Caitlin Trainor in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5. 

“Siena has been a huge surprise. She had great ladder matches to move her way up to singles, said Coach Sabourin. “She hasn’t missed a beat. She has won every match except for LaSalle.”

Senior Cate Merriam plays at fourth singles. She fell to Maddie Williams in three set marathon, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 10-6. 

“The team is so competitive 2-8 any of them could be playing singles and they have all really stepped up,” said Coach Sabourin. 

Seniors Laney Dufficy and Sydney DiChiappari are back at first doubles. They crushed the Prout team of Athanasia Stefanopoulos and Ava Pickett in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0. 

“It was great how it worked out that we were able to keep Laney and Sydney together,” said Coach Sabourin. “They are consistent and it gives us a big advantage at first doubles. I am hoping that they can make the state tournament this year.” 

Senior Arden Wilkes stepped up to play with junior Emma Alice Caetano at second doubles. They beat Sierra Redfern and Maddie Wilkinson in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Juniors Elena Oliveira and Emma Coelho are at third doubles again this season. They beat Emma Finkelstein and Lydia Sousa of Prout, 6-4, 10-6. 

With all of the seniors playing well this season, Coach Sabourin feels that the Huskies can go on a deep playoff. 

“We are enjoying the ride so far,” he said. 

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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.