LEXI LICCIARDI serves while Vanessa Wright plays the net in a state tournament match against Groton-Dunstable on June 6 at NRHS. The Hornets’ second doubles team was victorious against G-D and Norwell during NR’s strong postseason run to the Div. 3 state quarterfinals. (Courtesy Photo)
Fall to undefeated Newburyport in state quarterfinals
By DAN NUNN
NORTH READING — On June 6, the NRHS girls’ tennis team opened state tournament play with a 4-1 home victory over Groton Dunstable in the First Round of the MIAA Division 3 State Tournament.
The second doubles team of senior Lexi Licciardi and sophomore Vanessa Wright earned the first point of the day with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
At first doubles, juniors Alyssa Bradley and Chloe Florez gained the second point with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
Clinching the win was senior captain Gina Campagna at third singles 6-4, 6-3.
Freshman Althea Bradley played a great match and won 6-4,6-3 at second singles. Senior captain Elizabeth Grant fell, 6-3,6-2 at first singles.
On Thursday, June 9, the Norwell Clippers came to NRHS for a 8 vs. 9 matchup. Unlike their opening match, NR had to pull out a 3-2 thriller to move on to the Elite 8.
The first doubles duo of Alyssa Bradley and Florez were up 2-1 in the first set when their opponent fell going for a shot and had to retire from the match, putting the Hornets up 1-0.
Grant lost 6-1,6-0 at first singles to even things up 1-1. Althea Bradley played well but ended up losing 6-4, 6-3 to put Norwell in front 2-1.
At second doubles, Licciardi and Wright dropped the first set 3-6, but stormed back to win the next two 6-1, 6-3.
It all came down to third singles. Fortunately, Campagna came through with a gutsy 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 victory to clinch the match.
On Saturday, the Hornets traveled to Pentucket to play No. 1 seed and undefeated Newburyport.
Sadly, the third time was not the charm as the Clippers beat NR for the third time this season by a 4-1 margin to end the Hornets’ season.
Pentucket was the home courts for Newburyport in the tournament due to only three courts in Newburyport. The MIAA rule is you have to have four tennis courts to host a home match.
Grant got a game this time around against nationally ranked Caroline Schulson but lost 6-1,6-0 at first singles.
Althea Bradley earned the only win of the match 6-3, 6-2 at second singles. Campagna lost 6-0, 6-1 at third singles, Alyssa Bradley and Florez played well but eventually lost 6-1,6-3. Wright teamed up with junior utility player Katherine Hoadley and lost 6-2, 6-3.
It was one of the best seasons yet for NRHS girls’ tennis. The Hornets finished with the most regular season wins in program history with 15 and the most overall at 17. The Hornets finished up at 17-6 overall.