Bulldogs split weekend, top Niagara 6-1 on Senior Day

Bulldogs split weekend, top Niagara 6-1 on Senior Day


SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's tennis team closed its final weekend of regular season action falling to UMass, 7-0, on Saturday before earning a 6-1 victory over Niagara on Senior Day Sunday.

On Saturday, the Minutewomen were too much for the Bulldogs to handle as the Atlantic-10 foes swept the Bulldogs, 7-0. Sophomore Devlin-Ann Ammendola (Massapequa, N.Y.) came extremely close to winning the second set against Arielle Griffin at number four singles, but fell just short, 6-1, 7-5.

"UMass is a very strong team," said Bryant head coach Barbara Cilli. "But I enjoy playing them because it raises our level of play. We fought extremely hard, had a lot of great points, but they are a very good team."

On Sunday, Bryant celebrated Senior Day for four Bulldog seniors with a great 6-1 victory over Niagara.

In doubles action, Ammendola and partner senior Irma Rodriguez Lockwood (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) took down Ashley Ta and Jenna McCune, 8-1, in the

number three spot to get things started for Bryant. In the number two position, senior Lucy Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) paired with her sister, sophomore Rosie Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) for her final doubles match in Smithfield. The Birds were able to pull ahead, 7-5, attempting to clinch the match on Rosie Bird's serve, but couldn't close it. In the final point, they broke the visitors serve to take the point for Bryant, 8-6.

In singles play, the Bulldogs were able to take the first three matches right off the bat. At number three singles, junior Stephanie Smyers (Pittsburg, Pa.) rattled off a 6-1 win in the first set, fighting from behind in the second set to take it, 7-5, over Ta.

At number two singles, senior Marcela Brandao (Santo Andre, Brazil) was dominate, earning a 6-3, 6-1 win over Sarah Hellstern. At the first spot, Rosie Bird was able to take the first set rather easily, 6-2, however Hilary Hansen came alive in set number two, keeping the score close, but Rosie prevailed in the end, 7-6, to Bryant up 4-0.

Ammendola topped off a strong weekend with a three-set marathon, taking the first set, 6-2, but then dropping the second, 3-6. In the third and final set, Ammendola came from behind to knot the score, 8-8, before rallying to take the next two points for a 10-8 win. Rodriguez-Lockwood showed some true senior leadership on Sunday, clinching a pair of points for Bryant, topping Viki Sardellitti, 6-0, 6-2, in the number six position.

With the victory, the Bulldogs close the 2012-13 regular season with an 11-8 overall mark, snapping Niagara's six-match win streak in the process.

The Black and Gold have a few days to prepare for their first-ever Northeast Conference Tournament appearance, beginning Friday, April 19 in Princeton, N.J.

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