WAKEFIELD—As challenging as it was for the Narragansett girls tennis team Saturday evening against Toll Gate in the Division II Championship, getting to Slater Park was no easy task either.
Last Thursday the Mariners began their quest to repay their only two losses of the year when they edged Westerly 4-2 at Prout.
“I guess this is the way it’s supposed to be,” Narragansett coach Peter Barlow said, “but it’s nice to come out on the right end of a [4-2].”
Narragansett held a 3-2 lead in the contest with just two matches yet to finish, MacKenzie Page and Sarah Hoxsie’s at No. 3 doubles and Mariana Sanchez’s at No. 4 singles.
It appeared as if it would only be a matter of time until ’Gansett punched its ticket to the finals though, as Hoxsie and Page built a 5-1 lead in the second set after taking the first 7-5.
An easy win was not in the cards though as their Bulldog opponents – Laura Cruso and Julia DeGrooth – played to their school’s moniker and rallied back to tie the set at five-all.
While Hoxsie and Page were losing their lead, Sanchez was gridlocked in a tight 5-5 battle of her own in the third set of her match.
As doubt of a Mariner victory began to creep in Hoxsie and Page rekindled their earlier fire though, battling back from a big deficit in the 11th game to take two straight and the match.
“At 5-1 you figure the match is over,” Barlow said. “No-ad scoring, they had one or two set and match points, didn’t get them and they were down 15-40 and came back to win it.”
Doubles once again proved to be Narragansett’s strength Thursday as three of its four match points came in doubles play.
At No. 1 doubles Kara Heatherton and Maddie Gilbert rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 victory, while the No. 2 squad of Ashley Kennedy and Brooke McGreen – who lost a very close three-setter in the Mariners’ loss to Westerly earlier this season – picked up their play in the third set for a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 win.
“I thought we would win all three doubles based on last time,” Barlow said. “…I’m very pleased with our No. 2 [doubles] team which had lost a three-setter [last time]. They lost the second set, came back strong in the third set and I’m very proud of them and the way they played.”
Narragansett’s only point in singles came courtesy of Kristen Gershkoff’s 6-4, 6-0 over Grace Gagnon at No. 3 singles.