Providence, R.I.—Senior Matt Gambardella's (West Warwick, RI) win at No. three singles clinched a 5-1 victory for third-seeded Rhode Island College over sixth-seeded UMass Dartmouth in first round action of the 2019 Little East Men's Tennis Championship on Tuesday afternoon at the RIC Tennis Center. The Anchormen advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive season.
Rhode Island College 5, Bridgewater State 1
Rhode Island College (10-4)
Bridgewater State (3-10)
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Gambardella tied the program record for career singles wins (44) with his victory. He already is the program's all-time leader with 41 career doubles victories.
• RIC opened the match by winning two of the three doubles contests to build a 2-1 advantage.
• Gambardella and sophomore Ethan Hoy (West Warwick, RI) bested the BSU tandem of freshman Kendan DeBlois (Hadley, MA) and junior Joshua Bean (Kingston, MA), 8-4, at No. 3 doubles.
• RIC went ahead, 2-0, when sophomore Alex Bourque (North Smithfield, RI) and senior Alan Esposito (Clinton, CT) defeated BSU sophomore William Jones (Wrexham, United Kingdom) and freshman Colin Lamusta (Lynnfield, MA), 8-6, at No. 1 doubles
• The Bears climbed within one, 2-1, when sophomore Jeff Pavao (Somerset, MA) and senior Alexander Belinsky (Norton, MA) defeated RIC senior Chandler Scott (Ashaway, RI) and sophomore Mike Shea (Smithfield, RI), 8-4, at No. 2 doubles.
• Scott gave the Anchormen a 3-1 lead with a (6-2, 6-2) win over Jones at No. 2 singles.
• Esposito bested Belinsky (6-2, 6-2) at No. 6 singles to put the hosts within one point of clinching the victory.
• Gambardella then took down Lamusta (6-3, 6-1) to finish the match.
In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will face No. 2-seeded Salem Sate in the semifinals of the 2019 Little East Championship, hosted by UMass Boston on Friday, May 3.