Bulldogs split weekend, top Pioneers Sat.

(Athletic Communications)
(Athletic Communications)


SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's tennis team fell to a very good Army team, 5-2, Friday afternoon in Smithfield, before defeating Sacred Heart, 4-3, on Saturday.

On Friday, junior Stephanie Smyers (Pittsburg, Pa.) defeated Army's Carly Riney, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the number three singles spot, while senior Lucy Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) topped Alyssa Gleason, 6-1, 6-0, in the number six spot.

In doubles action, Smyers and Devlin-Ann Ammendola (Massapequa, N.Y.) topped Larraine Saavdra and Gleason, 8-3, for the lone Bryant win. The duo of Rosie Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Marcela Brandao (Santo Andre, Brazil) fell just short to Della and Elle Taylor in the number one spot, 8-6, but the Black Knight duo was too much for the Bulldogs.

"Army is always tough," said Bryant head coach Barbara Cilli. "But we certainly had our opportunities and didn't take full advantage of them which turned out to be the difference."

"We were right there in all three doubles matches, but came up just short in the first and second flights."

On Saturday, the Bulldogs dominated singles action against the Pioneers, sweeping spots 1-3. Rosie Bird defeated Gabi Kaldan, 6-2, 6-1, in the number one spot, while Smyers continued her strong play in the number three position, taking care of Nicole Rydezewski, 7-6, 6-2. In the number six spot, Lucy Bird remained unbeaten on the weekend beating Alyssa Migliorini, 6-2, 6-3.

The final and deciding match came down to the number two singles spot between Brandao and Katie DeRienzo. Brandao got off to a quick start winning the first set 6-0, but the second set belonged to DeRienzo who rallied after being down nearly 3-0 to come back and win in a tiebreaker, 7-6. With the momentum on her side, DeRienzo jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third set, but Brandao responded with her back against the door to take the next five points to take the 5-2 edge. In true dramatic fashion, DeRienzo answered Brandao's attack with a run of three-straight points to tie the set at 5-5. Brandao fought off several game points to take the next two, in a well-deserved 7-5 victory in the third set, clinching the match for the Bulldogs.

Bryant closes out Northeast Conference play with an impressive 4-1 mark with its only loss coming against Quinnipiac on March 24. The Bulldogs have just two matches remaining in the regular season, vs. UMass on Saturday and vs. Niagara on Sunday for Senior Day (both in Smithfield).

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