Women's tennis tops URI, 4-3

BULLDOGS TOP RAMS, 4-3, IN CLOSE MATCH IN SMITHFIELD

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's tennis team earned its first victory of year Tuesday afternoon against the University of Rhode Island.

The Bulldogs (1-1) defeated the visiting Rams, 4-3, on a windy afternoon in Smithfield. Still plagued by injury, Bryant's skilled volleying throughout the match turned out to be the difference, with all the players dealing with heavy winds.

In doubles action, Bryant's number two pairing of Marcela Brandao (Santo Andre, Brazil) and Devlin-Ann Ammendola (Massapequa, N.Y.) defeated URI's Nithila Askaraj/Karolina Wojciak, 8-4, to earn their third win as a team this season. The duo of Claudia Hidalgo (Guayaquil, Ecuador) / Irma Rodriguez Lockwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) defeated Kristin Bertsch/Elizaveta Sadovnikov, 8-3, to earn the doubles point for the Bulldogs.

In the singles competition, Ammendola defeated Wojciak, 6-3, 6-1, in the fourth singles position. Wojciak's baseline play was strong throughout the match, however Ammendola's strong defensive play propelled her to victory.

In number five singles, Lucy Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) defeated Bertsch, 6-0, 6-4, to earn her second victory of 2012. Bird got off to a quick start, blanking her opponent in the first set. In the second set, Bertsch brought the score within a game when she made it 4-3, however Bird overmatched her opponent to even the score for the Bulldogs at 3-3.

The deciding match came down to the sixth singles position between Bryant freshman Jovana Hadzi-Tanovic (Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro) and URI's Lauren Benoit. Hadzi-Tanovic had no difficulty in the first game, winning 6-1. In the second set, Hadzi-Tanovic had several match points up 5-4, but Benoit's clutch play brought the match to a 5-5 tie. In the next game, Hadzi-Tanovic was able to break Benoit's serve, which propelled her to the 7-5 win, earning Bryant their first win of the year.

The Bulldogs will open October when they welcome Holy Cross to Smithfield on the first of the month. Match time is set for 3 p.m.

For all the latest news on Bryant University women's tennis, visit BryantBulldogs.com.

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