PAWTUCKET — Lincoln School’s doubles team of Hayley Lough and Jamie Pine continued their mastery of Mount’s Katherine Porcaro and Emily Cardosa in Saturday’s state championship finals at Slater Park.
Mount won the first set 6-4 before the Lincoln School duo used a topspin lob technique to great advantage while winning the final two sets, 6-1 and 6-2. The Lynx team has won all three matches this season between the No. 1 doubles squads of the Division I powers.
“Our game is all about rhythm,” Mount coach Richard Lawrence said after the two-hour match had ended. “And they took us out of our rhythm with that deep topspin lob. It took us out of our game.”
Porcaro and Cardoso broke a 4-4 tie to win the final two games of the first set, playing with a favoring wind that played a strong role in the outcome. Lincoln School then got the wind in the second set and began hitting high lobs that landed near the back line. The Mounties often let the ball bounce high before hitting it. Sometimes the ball bounced over their racquets and up against the back fence, resulting in an easy point for Lincoln School.
Lawrence huddled with his players late in the second set and told them to hit the ball off the bounce. But it was too late by then.
“Besides, it’s not an easy shot to hit,” the veteran coach said. “Give Lincoln School credit. They changed the direction of the match (in the second set). It’s part of tennis. The wind becomes a factor in matches as we get late into the season. I tell my team all the time that I don’t want to hear about the wind. We have to be ready to play in all conditions.”
In the third set, Pine hit a forehand winner at deuce (40-40) to capture the first game. The Lynx broke service in the second game to win without giving up a point. Mount broke serve in the third set with Cardosa hitting the decisive shot that made it 2-1 after three games.
With Mount serving in the fourth game, the two sides worked hard with long volleys, finally arriving at deuce before the Mounties hit long to lose the game.
Lincoln School then served out the fifth game flawlessly for a 4-1 lead. Game 6 again went to deuce before Lough hit a winner. The Mounties bounced back to win the seventh game before Lincoln School went back to its topspin lob to close it out.
Mount will now turn its attention to the state team tournament that begins on Tuesday. The Mounties will face Prout in the quarterfinals at Lincoln High’s courts.