WAKEFIELD — Even Westerly coach Marvin Gordon admitted his team overachieved in 2013.
The Westerly girls’ tennis team’s 10 varsity players included eight girls who were either freshmen or sophomores yet the team still posted an 11-2 record.
So as disappointing as Thursday’s 4-2 Division II semifinal loss to Narragansett was, Gordon said he and his team were proud of what they were able to accomplish with such a young team.
“We really had freshman and sophomores across the board,” he said. “We had a great year.”
Youth didn’t work completely against the Bulldogs as both of Westerly’s wins came from two of its freshman.
Michaela Burr shut out her opponent in No. 1 singles 6-0, 6-0.
“To win love, love like she does so often is really incredible. She’s had a great year,” Gordon said.
Burr, including the individual state tournament, posted a 17-1 mark in her first year.
Lani Kopperman was the Bulldogs’ other freshman winner.
Kopperman won 6-1, 7-6 (7-1 tiebreak) in second singles and improved her season record to 14-2.
Two hotly contested doubles matches proved the difference in the semifinals.
Margo Douglas and Kate Kuzmic lost second doubles 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Laura Cruso and Julia DeGrooth lost 7-5, 7-5 in third doubles but nearly came back from a big second-set deficit.
“It was 5-1 and the match looked like it was over but they rallied and tied it at 5-5,” Gordon said. “It was really exciting, the crowd was going crazy.”
Possibly the best match of the night did not even factor into the scoring because by rule playoff matches end after one team wins four matches.
Lana Gunn lost 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in fourth singles. The match did not count but, by mutual agreement of both coaches, continued until its conclusion.
Gordon said the match took 3 hours to complete and included a number of long rallies.
The Mariners (11-2) move on to face undefeated Toll Gate for the Division II championship Saturday at noon at Slater Park.
The Bulldogs’ season may be over but Gordon said he could not be more optimistic about the future.
“We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with for a lot for years,” he said. “These kids are so dedicated, it’s the best team I’ve ever been around in all my years (coaching).”
CRANSTON — Robbie Trebisacci converted a penalty kick with 17 minutes and 49 seconds to play to lift the Bulldogs to an important Division II win over the Falcons on Thursday.
Westerly (5-6-3, 4-6-3 Division II) came into the game tied with Mount Pleasant for the 12th and final playoff spot in the 16-team league. The Bulldogs have two games remaining on their schedule. Westerly was 0-3-2 in its last five games coming into Thursday’s match.
Mount Pleasant beat Middletown 2-1 on Thursday so Westerly and the Kilties (3-4-6), both with 15 points, moved in front of the Islanders (3-5-5, 14 points) into a tie for 11th in the standings. The Bulldogs are looking to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
“We got three points and we needed that badly with two games to play. I told the kids I need all nine points, we got three and we have six more to go for,” Westerly coach Led Ahern said. “We’ve had a few games come and go, this was a big game for us.”
The Bulldogs only scored once but dominated statistically. Westerly outshot Cranston West 18-2 and held a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks. Bulldog goalie Billy McCormick only needed to make two saves.
Westerly hosts Coventry on Monday at 6 p.m.
Warwick Vets ..................1
WARWICK — Brittany DeGrooth’s goal with 5 minutes to play in Thursday’s Division II contest proved to be the game-winner.
Mackenzie Donnelly played the ball from Westerly’s end through to DeGrooth to start the winning play. The junior was able to beat a couple of defenders and score.
Westerly (7-5-2, 6-4-2 Division II) picks up three more points as the Bulldogs battle for playoff position. Vets (9-3) entered the game in third place in the league standings.
Vets scored first Thursday, taking a 1-0 lead with a goal with a little over 9 minutes to play in the first half.
DeGrooth set up an Emily Luther goal with 6:20 to play in the first to even the score.
Westerly coach Clyde Britt said Warwick pulled up it “whole team” looking for the winning goal in the second half and the Bulldogs were able to hold the Canes off.
Westerly goalkeeper Emily Luther made 13 saves in the win.
The Bulldogs schedule doesn’t get much easier. Westerly plays at fourth place Pilgrim on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
WESTERLY —All three games of Thursday’s Division II-South match were close but unfortunately the Bulldogs came out on the short end of all three.
West Warwick (6-9, 6-9 Division II-South) took the three games 25-23, 25-22 and 25-21.
The Bulldogs (2-14, 2-13 Division II-South) had slim leads throughout most of the first two games but late Wizard rallies helped West Warwick win both.
Lia Gabrielle had four aces, three kills and two digs. Olivia Obertello led Westerly with six digs. Julianna Morrone had three aces, kills and digs.
Westerly visits Warwick Veterans Monday at 6 p.m.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Bulldogs 21st at Skee Carter Invitational
BURRILLVILLE — Sam DeSarro was Westerly’s top finisher at Thursday’s meet at Burrillville Middle School, placing 67th overall.
DeSarro, a junior, finished the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 37 seconds. East Greenwich’s Garrett Scanlon won the race in 16:02.
Westerly totaled 607 points, placing 21st out of 28 teams. East Greenwich ran to a convincing win with 27 points. North Kingstown was second with 51.
Justin Senior (75th in 19:00), Ben Calitri (114th in 20:09), Isaac Kaufman (177th, 22:35) and Chris Shaffer (185th, 24:05) rounded out Westerly’s top-five runners.