The move up to Division I has been difficult for the Mt. Hope tennis team who are now 3-4 on the season after losing to Barrington 6-1 on Monday afternoon. Last season the Huskies were the Division …
The move up to Division I has been difficult for the Mt. Hope tennis team who are now 3-4 on the season after losing to Barrington 6-1 on Monday afternoon. Last season the Huskies were the Division II runner-ups and had competed for the title the last few years. That status will be difficult to match in their new division.
“The girls are rising to the challenge,” said Huskies head coach Geoff Keegan. “And that’s awesome. That’s always the worrisome part. But they are making the best of the situation and bringing it, every match.”
First singles player Elsa White has been dominating her opponents and is 6-1 on the season. The ultra quick junior has improved her ground strokes, adding power and topspin as well as working on strategies to thwart her opponents. She has also enhanced her deadly left handed serve with more spin and pace and can paint the lines with powerful passing shots. “It’s a lot more competitive,” White said of her competition. “The rallies are longer, you have to be very focused.”
White rose early during the summer mornings to work on her play and participated in various clinics to boost her knowledge of the game. “I came into the season seeing the challenge, but in the end, I just decided to have fun,” she said.
“Elsa has been doing very well,” said Coach Keegan. “She has qualified for the individual state tournament as the fifth seed in the state. She is a hard worker and a great player.”
The rest of the team has had mixed results against their Division I foes, but are holding their own and staying positive. “We are shooting to be .500 and so far it’s been a seesaw, but I think that’s where we’ll be at he end of the season and hopefully we’ll sneak into the playoffs.”
Junior Ella Quesnelle is playing second singles, junior Cate Merriam is playing third singles and senior Zelda Hayes is playing fourth singles. The three are the team captains this season and have been steady thus far.
“We knew that we wanted to have a good season regardless of our outcome as a team,” said Hayes. “We’re putting everything we have into it and match by match making every point count.”
“Zelda is playing singles for the first time,” said Coach Keegan. “She is doing well with just a couple of loses. She’s a lefty like Elsa, it gives a nice combination of lefties and righties. Ella and Cate are smart, steady and consistent players. They are holding her own against the D-I top dogs.”
Sydney DiChiappari and Laney Dufficy are playing first doubles, Siena Sousa and Emma Alice Caetano are the second doubles team and Elena Oliveira and Emma Coelho are the team’s third doubles pair.
“Our doubles teams are doing well,” Coach Keegan said. “Though we have a lot of novice doubles players. They are getting better as the season goes on. They are scrappy and and helping us win.”
“The girls are working their tails off and working hard to represent the school and our tennis program that has had some success over the years,” he said. “We’ll hopefully continue to snowball this program and hopefully, potentially be at the top of D-I.”
Mt. Hope 1, Barrington 6, Monday 10/3
First singles. Elsa White defeated Sonya Pareek of Barrington, 6-1, 6-3, second singles, Ava Koczera-Kasem of Barrington defeated Ella Quesnelle, 6-0, 6-1, third singles, Katie Byon of Barrington defeated Cate Merriam, 6-2, 6-2, fourth singles, Charlotte Danyla of Barrington defeated Zelda Hayes, 6-0, 6-1.
First doubles team of Sadie Spector and Ava Grant of Barrington defeated Sydney DiChiappari and Laney Dufficy, 6-3, 6-3, second doubles team of Charlotte Byon and Zeynep Abul of Barrington defeated Siena Sousa and Emma Alice Caetano, 6-0, 6-1, third doubles team of Morgan Perry and Jillian Frechette of Barrington defeated Elena Oliveira and Emma Coelho, 7-5, 6-1.
Mt. Hope 5, Cumberland 0, Friday 9/30
First singles, Elsa White defeated Kelsey Lindsay of Cumberland, 6-2, 6-1, second singles, Ella Quesnelle defeated Phoebe Clark of Cumberland, 6-2, 6-4, third singles, Cate Merriam defeated Fatima Diallo of Cumberland, 6-2, 6-1, fourth singles, Zelda Hayes defeated Sophia Castiglia of Cumberland, 6-0, 6-0.
First doubles team of Sydney DiChiappari and Laney Dufficy defeated Gwen Ross and Jada Martins of Cumberland, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0).
All other matches were suspended due to darkness.