Melrose remains undefeated in Freedom League
Published in the May 19, 2017 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE —The Melrose Red Raider tennis team is poised to clinch their third straight league title after blanking league rivals Burlington and Wakefield this week to remain 7-0 in the league and 8-4 overall. They have already clinched a spot in the post season.
Melrose’s Burlington match on May 10 was critical to their season. Had they lost, the Red Raiders would have been forced to share their third league title. In recent seasons Burlington has proven to be Melrose’s toughest league competitor.
“They are our main rivals and always competitive, so it was terrific to get a win,” confirms Melrose head coach Matt Williams.
Melrose switched up their doubles teams for strategic advantage and it paid off. Walking off with wins in first doubles was Caleb Zimmerman and Joe Connolly (6-2, 6-2) and Sam Stallings and Sean Prendergast (6-4, 6-2) in second doubles.
The singles competition proved some grudge matches. Jack Mays in first singles and Jason Jang both were force to play 2 hours matches, but each prevailed, while Sean Donovan came up the winner in third singles, 6-4, 6-1.
Fueled by the win, Melrose swept Wakefield 5-0 on Thursday, May 11 at the Tremont Street Courts in Melrose. The Red Raider lineup took care of their Wakefield rivals in fairly easy fashion. Jack Mays beat James Hanron 3-6, 1-6 in first singles. Sean Donovan took on Noah Greif at second singles and prevailed in sets of 1-6, 6-3, and 2-6 and Sam Stallings beat Zack Covelle in third singles 1-6, 3-6. In first doubles, Caleb Zimmerman and Joe Connolly beat Noah Sellers and John Stanfield, 2-6, 1-6. Melrose’s Sean Prendergast and Sava Vlajkovic prevailed 2-6, 2-6, over Johnny Stumpf and Jack Palmer.
Williams was pleased with the effort. “Sean Donovan had a pretty interesting match and I was glad to see Sava getting some varsity experience in.”
A handful of players competed in the MIAA Individual tennis tourney, including all their singles players and first doubles team. Senior captain Sean Donovan has emerged to live another day and faces his Wayland opponent this Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. in Wayland.