EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School boys' tennis team finished its first season back up in the Division II ranks last week with a 5-2 loss at home to Classical on a blustery …
EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School boys' tennis team finished its first season back up in the Division II ranks last week with a 5-2 loss at home to Classical on a blustery Wednesday afternoon, May 17 at the Townie Tennis Center on campus.
The Townies, winners of the D-III title last spring, completed their 2023 regular season with a 9-4 record, good enough for a share of fourth place with Tiverton. The locals last played in D-II prior to this spring in 2018.
EP, however, defeated the Tigers in their lone meeting to date, giving the locals the tiebreaker for the fourth seed in the league championship playoffs.
Six teams qualified for the postseason. The Townies and Tiverton will meet in the first round in East Providence either Monday, May 22, or Tuesday, May 23. The winner advancing to face unbeaten and top seed North Kingstown in the semifinals.
Third-seeded Narragansett faces sixth-seeded Classical in the other opening round match, the winner going on to meet second-seeded East Greenwich in the semis on that side of the playoff draw.
"We’re focused. We know our pitfalls and our faults and that’s half the battle," EPHS head coach Slade Sharma said of his team on the eve of the playoffs. "We can beat any team in this division and it feels like we’re even capable of losing to any too. We just have to believe in each other and defend the hard work we put in everyday. "
Classical improved to 8-5 with its victory over the Townies last week. The Purple won three of the four singles outings and two of the three doubles contests.
John Vaughan claimed the lone solo point for EPHS with his 7-5, 6-3 win at the four position. Jordan O'Hara and Miguel Flores, playing together in the top doubles pairing for the first time this spring, won by the same 5-and-3 count.
Classical took four of its five points in two sets. Abigail Ellison went the distance for the Townies at second singles, winning the first set 6-3, but losing the next two 1-6 and 5-7.
Jaydon Amaral and Nathan Thurber also played tight two-setter for EP at second dubs, falling 6-7 (5-7) and 5-7.
James McShane, at first singles, and Brayden Rouette, at third, each dropped their outings by the same 4-6, 1-6 scores. The third doubles duo of Justin Petion and Jaydon Massa fell in two as well.
Looking ahead to the playoffs, East Providence and Tiverton met just days ago for their sole regular season contest, a 4-3 road win for the Townies on May 15.
Ellison was a winner at second singles by the scores of 6-4 and 6-4. Rouette was a 1-and-5 winner at third singles. Vaughan added a 4-and-1 win from the fourth spot. Of note as well, McShane fell at first singles in three incredibly close sets 4-6, 7-6 (7-4) and 6-4.
O'Hara and Amaral playing as the Townies' top doubles duo picked up the fourth and deciding point with their 1-6, 6-4 and 6-3 win. EP's No. 2 team on the day of Thurber and Petion also lost in three sets 7-5, 2-6 and 6-1.