WESTERLY — A 6-1 Division II-Suburban B win over Classical Thursday pushed the Westerly High girls’ tennis team’s record to 7-1, its best start since an undefeated Class C state championship season in 2003.
“It’s exciting for this year and the future that this team has four freshmen and four sophomores,” Westerly coach Marvin Gordon said. “This team just keeps rising to the occasion even with all the pressure.”
Freshman Michaela Burr stayed perfect (8-0) with a 6-0, 6-1 win in No. 1 singles.
“Michaela (Burr) is a future All-Stater,” Gordon said. “She works very hard and is very coachable. She has a forehand that can really put you away.”
Gordon said Burr earned the top spot in Saturday’s Division II state qualifying tournament which starts at 9 a.m. at Slater Park.
Another of Westerly’s freshmen, Lani Kopperman, improved to 7-1 with a 6-2, 6-4 win in second singles.
“Lani also has the potential to be All-State, maybe not this year but I think it’s definitely in her future. She has a forehand like (Burr) that she can use to win points.”
Lana Gunn’s 7-5, 6-4 win in fourth singles capped the individual victories for the Bulldogs.
Westerly (7-1, 7-1 Division II-B Suburban) swept doubles play and started with a 6-4, 6-3 win in first doubles by the sophomore duo of Emily Palma and Renee Cordio.
“Emily and Renee went 10-2 as the third doubles team last year and their having a great season as our first doubles team this year (7-1).”
“Our doubles teams are all really strong. If we lose a set I know we have the confidence to come back and win the match.
“I know I’ve told you this before but one of the keys to our success is really the fact that we all worked out for 10-12 weeks over the summer. The kids really got to know each other and really learned how to work with each other.”
Margo Douglas and Kate Kuzmic took second doubles 6-1, 6-0. Laura Cruso and Julia DeGrooth won third doubles 6-1, 6-0.
The Purple fell to 4-4 overall and in Division II Suburban B with the loss.
WESTERLY — Burrillville’s Taylor Ross scored two goals and caused no end of problems for the Bulldogs in Thursday’s Division II game.
“She’s the whole package,” Westerly coach Clyde Britt said. “She can really do it all.”
Ross scored the Broncos’ first two goals and helped put Burrillville up 1-0 at halftime.
The Broncos (5-2, 5-2 Division II) were up 3-0 by the time Westerly got on the board with a second-half tally from Amy Luther.
Julia Wicklund assisted the goal.
Burrillville outshot Westerly 12-5 and Emily Sullivan made nine saves for the Bulldogs.
Westerly has lost two games in a row after starting the season 4-1-1.
The Bulldogs (4-3-1, 3-3-1 Division II) pays a visit to Classical Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Mount Pleasant ...............0
PROVIDENCE — This was not a happy tie.
“I think they’re disappointed. I know I am. The bus is pretty quiet as you can hear,” said Bulldog coach Les Ahern when he called to report Thursday’s Division II game.
Westerly was coming off a strong 5-1 win Monday against a Mount St. Charles team that entered with a 4-0-1 record.
“We had a couple of quality chances. Two of the five corners were quality; we got a head on the ball and the keeper made the save. But we didn’t develop much,” Ahern said.
Overtime is not played in the regular season.
Westerly, which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end, had 10 shots. Mount Pleasant (0-4-3, 0-4-3 Division II) had eight. The Kilties had a penalty kick with about 18 minutes left in the game, but the ball was sent sailing over the crossbar.
Ahern said Austin Harley stood out in the middle of the Bulldogs’ flat-4 defense.
“He got a head on almost every ball. He usually turned the guy, blocked the ball, and brought it up a few times. Very solid, very impressive for a sophomore,” Ahern said.
Westerly (4-4-1, 3-4-1 Division II) has a home game on Monday at 6 p.m. against Mt. Hope.