WOONSOCKET â€” Moses Brown did everything it possibly could to steal the show from its host on Wednesday in the very first regular-season match at Mount St. Charlesâ€™ sparkling new courts across Logee Street.
The Quakers made history by netting the facilityâ€™s first singles victory. Minutes later, they also came away with the first doubles triumph.
And an hour and a half later, they wrapped up their eventful afternoon by busing back to Providence with a 6-1 verdict over the Mounties.
The Division I-B loss was a difficult start to the season for the Mounties and head coach Marissa Pitrone-Marsh, who a season ago, went 9-3 during the regular season and reached the Division I championship match for the ninth time in 11 years, where they lost to unbeaten two-time champion La Salle.
â€śI lost five seniors (from that team),â€ť she admitted. â€śI lost my three top singles players and my No. 1 doubles (team). This is a rebuilding year, but I think as the season goes on, weâ€™re just going to get better and better. Every year, you canâ€™t count us out. The progression of our players getting better, I know itâ€™s going to happen.â€ť
Liz Kinsella, Moses Brownâ€™s two-time All-State senior, picked up the historic first victory in No. 1 singles by notching a 6-0, 6-1 victory over senior tri-captain Julie Marcinak.
And immediately after Kinsella and Marcinak stepped off their court, the Quakersâ€™ No. 1 doubles tandem of Racie Moran and Taylor Thiesen finished its match with an equally impressive 6-0, 6-2 win over Meaghan Dubois and Sam Bacon.
Shortly later, the visitors clinched the match. Annie DaSilva defeated Kate Foley in No. 2 singles, 6-4, 6-0, and the No. 2 doubles team of Margot Creamer and Maddie Gorgi downed the Mountiesâ€™ team of Jen Lapine and Jess Morelle, 6-2, 6-2.
â€śItâ€™s our first home match on these courts, so I know they felt a little bit of pressure, a little stress,â€ť said Pitrone-Marsh, who was missing her No. 4 singles player, Kylie Finnerty, to an injury and was forced to juggle her doubles teams. â€śThe first match of the season is always stressful enough, so maybe they got the shakes and the jitters.â€ť
The Mounties picked up their victory in No. 3 singles, as Julia Martin secured a hard-fought 6-3, 6-4 win over Leah Falk, and the No. 3 doubles team of Caroline Cardosa and Trisha Bhatin nearly produced another victory, but they dropped a close 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 decision to the squad of Lauren Gunasti and Allison Rao.
Also playing well in a losing cause was Katelyn Gagnon in No. 4 singles, as the senior tri-captain, who moved up from No. 1 doubles, suffered a 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 defeat to Singne Brown.
While Moses Brown figures to be awfully tough this year, Pitrone-Marsh knows that the Quakers arenâ€™t the only team to keep an eye on in what promises to be an ultra competitive Division I.
â€śI know East Greenwich is going to be a force to be reckoned with,â€ť she reported. â€śThey have some really strong players. And La Salle, as always, has such a deep team that I know they will be in the running. Itâ€™s going to be an interesting season.â€ť
The Mounties will visit La Salle on Monday in a 4 p.m. match and then host South Kingstown on Wednesday afternoon. Both matches are crossover contests.
Follow Eric Benevides on Twitter @EricBen24