PAWTUCKET — Westerly High's Ryan Teixeira fought off three match points to advance to the individual state tennis tournament during Division III qualifying on Saturday at Slater Park.

Teixeira won his first-round match 8-6 before surviving a marathon in the second round to advance. He defeated fifth-seeded Josh Brien of Johnston, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7-1).

"In my opinion, that was the best match played this season in Rhode Island boys tennis," Westerly coach Terence McAndrew said. "He was down 5-4 and 6-5 in the the third set, and he faced three match points. He showed the heart of a bulldog by fighting tooth and nail for every single point."

Blake Busch also advanced to the state tournament. He received a bye in the first round and won his second-round match 6-3, 6-3.

Brandon Larossa and J.D. Dauphinais each won his first-round match before being eliminated.

The Westerly doubles team of Joel Henry and Kyle Cioffi also advanced via a forfeit.

The individual state tournament starts May 17 at Slater Park.

— Ken Sorensen

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