Girls' Tennis Athlete of the Year: Arianna Rizzo
The Toll Gate girls’ tennis team was as consistent as they come this season, going 12-0 and advancing all the way to the Division II championship match.
One of the main catalysts for that success was No. 2 singles player Arianna Rizzo. A junior, Rizzo compiled a 9-3 overall record, showing the willingness to challenge herself near the top of the singles ladder, the durability to play in every match and the skill to consistently pick up win for the Titans.
“She was like the silent killer,” said head coach Gary Gorman. “She was very consistent all year, the past two years.”
Rizzo has been a mainstay near the top of Toll Gate’s lineup since her sophomore year, helping it to a 9-3 record two years ago before the undefeated mark this past year. It’s been her work ethic that has paved the way. While Gorman highlights her dedication in high school practices, Rizzo also takes lessons at Tennis Rhode Island during the off-season and tries to play as often as she can.
While she played well at No. 2 last year, she was also called into action three times at No. 1.
“I definitely like playing singles more,” Rizzo said. “And obviously I want to play No. 1, but I liked playing No. 2 this year. I liked the competition.”
With the fall season only a few months away, Rizzo has already seen improvement in her game from last season, and she’ll likely need to capitalize on that to repeat her success next year, as Toll Gate is moving up to Division I.
“I’ve definitely improved a lot this off-season,” Rizzo said. “It’s going to be a challenge but I’m excited to move up and see if I can compete with some of those girls.”
Rizzo will be serving as a co-captain next season, a role in which Gorman thinks she’ll continue to flourish.
“She’s like the All-American girl,” Gorman said. “She’s very supportive of all the other players.”