The University of Rhode Island women’s tennis team continued to build on a promising start as they won two more matches in the URI Invitational at the Hassenfeld Tennis Complex, edging Siena College 3-2 and blanking Monmouth University 5-0 on Saturday.
The Rams were unable to get on the court as much they anticipated with the weather canceling the three matches that were slated for Sunday, which made Saturday’s match-ups that much more important for a team trying to put a two-win season behind them. The young team comprised largely of underclassmen again answered the call in their opening battle against Siena. Freshmen Mihaela Codreanu (URI No.1) and Rachel Smilansky (No. 2) both won in straight sets, while teammate Tiara Higuchi (No. 4) prevailed in three sets (6-1, 3-6, 10-1) to give the team the victory. Senior Taylor Holden (No. 2) fell in a hard-fought three-setter of her own against Ivana Boberic (6-3, 6-7, 10-3). The doubles team of sophomore Ariel Haber and freshman Emily Zargham also tasted defeat, 8-6.
The Rams good fortunes continued with a dominant showing against the visiting Monmouth Hawks. Holden and freshman Brooke Fennell avenged the Rams’ loss in doubles earlier in the afternoon, and took the lone set by a score of 8-3. URI kept rolling throughout the match-up, with singles wins across the board. Haber (No. 2) did not lose a game en route to a shutout victory, while Smilansky (No. 1) was not far behind, winning 6-1, 6-1. Zargham (No. 3) split the first two sets against Monmouth’s Kendal Kauffman, but took control in the decisive third to give her team a commanding lead with another URI win (6-3, 6-7, 10-3). Senior Jordan Rucks rounded out the sweep winning 6-0, 6-1.
The Rams have a bit of a layoff before they compete at the ITA Northeast Regional at Yale University on Oct. 21-23.
The women’s soccer Rams (3-6-3, 0-3-1) remained winless in Atlantic 10 action, as they fell to the University of Richmond Spiders (7-5-1, 2-2-0) in a 2-1 road defeat.
URI found themselves in a big hole early, following a goal in the 21st minute by Lexi Prillaman, the game’s aggressor with seven shots (three on goal), and another one fifteen minutes later by Brooke Beam. The Rams went into halftime with a two-goal deficit, but roared out the break with an immediate goal. Junior Rachael Lieberman netted her first career goal to cut the lead in half.
URI had plenty of time to work with, but the Spiders did not give an inch, holding onto the home victory. It was a frenzied, offensive game that featured 28 shots. Richmond proved to be more aggressive with seventeen shots, six on goal, while Rhode Island played more efficiently with seven of their 11 shots on target.
The team will be searching for their first conference win in home games this week against St. Bonaventure University tonight at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon against the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
URI swept their home opening series over West Chester University, defeating their opponents handily, 6-2 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday at the Brad Boss Arena to earn themselves a spot in the ACHA rankings.
The Rams put their losses against Stony Brook the weekend before behind them with a rejuvenated offensive attack. Senior captain ray Boudiette put his team on the board first with a quick goal, and then sophomore Filip Akermark scored on a power play with just under two seconds left in the opening period. URI built a 4-0 lead that allowed them to safely coast to victory on a night when six different players scored.
Rhode Island’s motor kept running the next day as they unleashed another barrage of goals on to West Chester. Daniel Caruso scored with 13:50 left in the first period, allowing his team to again set the tone for what shaped up as another one-sided win for the Rams. They gave themselves a 3-0 security blanket courtesy of a couple Boudiette assists and won the game by a final of 4-1. Senior Mike Pesola was the hero with two goals, but the team displayed another balanced attack.
The league took notice, and because of URI’s 3-1 with 10 points, they are now ranked No. 25 in the latest rankings. The team will hope to ascend up the league standings with home games against Liberty University on Friday at 7 and Saturday at 4.