Bulldogs earn playoff bye, finish regular season 11-1

Bulldogs earn playoff bye, finish regular season 11-1


WESTERLY — The Westerly High girls’ tennis team clinched the second seed and a bye in the Division II state tournament with a 7-0 win against East Providence in the regular season finale on Thursday.

“Our goal was to make the playoffs,” Westerly coach Marvin Gordon said. “We exceeded that dramatically. I believe we have a good shot of getting to the finals.”

Westerly concluded the regular season with an overall record of 11-1. Its only loss was to undefeated Toll Gate by a 5-2 score on Sept. 19.

That is the Bulldogs’ best finish since the 2003 team went 16-0 en route to the Class C state title (one rung lower that this year’s team). Westerly also won the Class C title in 2002. Those are the only state-level titles in the program’s history.

Five of the six Division II playoff teams are from Westerly’s Division II -Suburban B league.

Westerly (11-1, 11-1 II-Suburban B) finished second behind Toll Gate (12-0, 12-0 Suburban B). Those two teams had the best record in the division and earned byes.

Toll Gate and Westerly will host semifinal matches at The Prout School at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Narragansett (10-2, 10-2 Suburban B) is the third seed, followed by Portsmouth (9-3, 9-3 Suburban A), Providence Country Day (8-4, 8-4 Suburban B) and Classical (8-4, 8-4 Suburban B). These four teams will play quarterfinal matches on Tuesday at the site of the higher seed.

Michaela Burr won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles on Thursday. The freshman is undefeated in 14 matches this year and has only lost three games.

Lani Kopperman won her No. 2 singles match 5-0 when her opponent retired at that score in the first set. The freshman improved her season record to 14-1.

Grace Gagnon won third singles 6-2, 6-4. Lana Gunn was extended to three sets, losing the first 6-4, winning the second 6-2 and then prevailing 10-6 in a third-set super tie-breaker.

The sophomore pair of Emily Palma and Renee Cordio was perfect at 6-0, 6-0 in first doubles. They are 12-2 for the season.

Margo Douglas and Kate Kuzmic won 6-2 and 6-1 at second doubles. Laura Cruso and Julia DeGrooth teamed to win third doubles 6-2, 6-2.

Burr, Kopperman and the Palma/Cordio duo qualified on Sept. 26-27 to play in the state singles and doubles tournament that starts today at Slater Park.

Burr (seeded fifth) and Kopperman (unseeded) play in singles rounds today, starting at 3 p.m. Palma and Cordio (unseeded) play doubles at Slater Park on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. The finals start at noon on Sunday.


Lincoln .............................4

Westerly ...........................1

LINCOLN — The Lions scored twice in each half to put Thursday’s Division II game well out of reach before the Bulldogs got on the scoreboard.

League-leading Lincoln (8-1-2, 8-1-2 Division II) scored with 8 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first half and then 4½ minutes later.

The Lions struck again just 5 minutes into the 40-minute second half and made it 4-0 with another goal with 15 minutes left in the game.

Terrell Norris finally scored 5minutes later on a penalty kick for Westerly (4-6-3, 3-6-3 Division II). He was awarded the penalty kick by being taken down in the penalty area. He left-footed the ball to the upper right-hand side of Lincoln’s goalkeeper.

After going 4-4, the Bulldogs have had three ties and two losses in their last five games. Westerly has three games remaining to earn sufficent points to be one of the 12 teams (of 16 total) to make the Division II playoffs.

Westerly plays next at Cranston West on Thursday at 4 p.m.


Narragansett ....................3

Westerly ..........................0

NARRAGANSETT — Westerly High gave unbeaten Narragansett a battle Thursday even though losing in three — 25-21, 29-27, 25-22.

It was “hands down” the Bulldogs’ best match of the season, said first-year coach Molly Morrone.

“We hustled. They were fighting for every point and our girls did not ever give up,” Morrone said.

Morrone said there were little scoring streaks here and there but every set was neck and neck down the stretch.

Narragansett is 13-0 overall and in Division II-South. Westerly is 2-12, 2-11 in the league.

Julianna Morrone of Westerly had a team-high five kills to go along with three digs. Megan Lacey had five aces and three digs, Haley Menta had six digs and tow aces, and Lia Gabrielle had three kills, three digs, two aces and two assists.

Izzy Carey had four kills and three digs, and Alyssa Valentini had two kills.

Westerly is off until Wednesday when it travels to East Greenwich for a 6:30 p.m. league match.


Scituate ............................2

Westerly ...........................1

NORTH SCITUATE — Scituate tied Thursday’s game midway through the first half and won it with 12:30 left in the Division II contest.

Keryn Birrel assisted both goals by the Spartans (7-2-1, 7-2-1 Division II).

Talia Pino and Renee Bourgault scored. Both players managed to get inside the Bulldog defense for a one-on-one opportunity against keeper Emily Sullivan, and both scored from about 15 yards out.

Westerly (5-5-2, 4-4-2 Division II) took a 1-0 lead 9 minutes into the game. Brittany DeGrooth scored, assisted by Emily Sullivan.

Luther pushed the ball through from midfield, DeGrooth beat her defender, and beat the keeper, low from 15 yards out.

The statistics were just ab out even.

Westerly had 14 shots and Scituate had 13. Both teams had four corner kicks. Rebecca Sprague made 13 saves for the Spartans and Sullivan made 11 for the Bulldogs.

Westerly’s next game is Tuesday at home against Narragansett at 6 p.m.

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