Published in the April 5, 2017 edition

SENIOR CAPTAINS, from left, Katie Nugent, Camie Foley, Sarah Mezini and Katie Nevils will be leading the girls’ tennis team this spring. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

SENIOR CAPTAINS, from left, Katie Nugent, Camie Foley, Sarah Mezini and Katie Nevils will be leading the girls’ tennis team this spring. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — The girls’ tennis team is back on the court and is gearing up to bring home a fourth straight Division 3 North sectional title this spring.

The Pioneers concluded last season with a 19-2 overall record. Lynnfield won its third straight sectional title after defeating archrival Manchester-Essex 3-2 in the D-3 North sectional finals. The Pioneers fell 4-1 to Division 3 state champion Martha’s Vineyard in the state semifinals. The Vineyarders also eliminated the locals from the state semifinals in 2015.

“We graduated three starting seniors, Olivia Skelley, Amanda Stelman and Haley Timmons, but return starters Sarah Mezini, Katie Nevils, Camie Foley and Katie Nugent,” said Pioneers head coach Craig Stone. “We will fill in with Allison Carey, a spot starter last year, and letter winners Rachel Strout and Laura Mucci for a possible all senior starting line-up.”

Stone said the Pioneers “will definitely be in contention for the league and sectional championships.”

“One of last year’s doubles players could possibly move up to third singles, which means two new doubles combinations,” said Stone. “But that will work itself out during the season.”

Four captains will be leading the Pioneers this season, including Sarah Mezini. The UMass-Amherst bound tennis sensation will be starting at first singles once again.

“Mezini is a two-time Cape Ann League player of the year, and three-time CAL All-Star at first singles,” said Stone. “She should again be one of the top players in the league as well as the North section.”

Senior captain Katie Nevils will be playing second singles once again.

“Nevils, also a two-time CAL player at doubles and singles, will again be a dominant force at the position,” said Stone.

Senior captain Camie Foley will either be playing third singles or doubles this season.

“Foley, also a CAL All-Star, will contend for a singles spot,” said Stone. “She was the team’s most improved player last year, and an early season assessment looks as if she has improved from then.”

Senior captain Katie Nugent, who was a CAL All-Star last year in addition to the CAL player of the year in volleyball, “will anchor the first doubles team no matter whom she plays with.”

The Pioneers’ other key returners are junior Makayla Maffeo and sophomore Alexa Vittiglio, who Stone said “were brought up to the varsity program at the end of last season.”

“They did not see varsity playing time last year, but will impact at that level this season,” said Stone.

The promising new additions to the Pioneers include senior Rachel Collins, sophomore Nina Dunn, sophomore Emma Rocco, sophomore Grace Sokop, sophomore Daphne Terris, freshman Celeste Jolly, freshman Gillian Skelley, freshman Claire Yang and freshman Alena Moisidis.

“Weather has severely impacted the opportunity to establish a full varsity and JV team at this point and is a work in progress over the next couple of weeks,” said Stone.

Stone said the Pioneers have “plenty of depth and talent,” but the locals “just need match play to prepare us individually and collectively.”