Finds success against Stoneham, 3-0


A WIN for the Melrose girls’ tennis week! The team defeated Stoneham 3-0 last week for their first victory of the season. Pictured is Julia McLaughlin in third singles. (Donna Larsson photo)

Published in the May 6, 2016 edition

MELROSE — Hard work and persistence is the name of the game in the Middlesex League when up against some power house teams like Burlington, Winchester, Lexington, Belmont and Arlington. For the Melrose girls’ tennis team, the patience and persistence paid off on Friday, April 29 when they enjoyed their first win of the season against Stoneham.

Melrose senior captain Jackie Pereira finished confidently in straight sets vs. her opponent 6-1, 6-1. “She remained calm, worked on moving her opponent and finished the match with a point,” reports head coach Deb Deacon.

Lily Fitzgerald played second singles in a strong match and took straight sets 6-1, 6-3. “Lily is continuing to work on strategizing points and working shots other than baseline hitting,” says her coach.

In third singles Julia McLaughlin played a nail-biting first set match but kept her Spartan opponent off the scoreboard, beating her in a tie breaker 7-6 in the first set. The match was retired due to a medical default as her opponent did not feel well enough to finish the second set. That meant three points to Melrose.

Doubles was not about to be undone by their singles teammates so the partnership of senior captain Hannah Butler and junior Olivia Zibatis came out strong and fierce, working their net game and serving to win in straight sets 6-1, 6-0.  According to their coach, Butler had the best serves of her season to date, zipping serves past her opponents. Zibatis continues to work on placement and her net game to seal the deal for the first doubles team.

Second doubles team of Miranda Lombardo and Kira DeLucia continue to improve and they never let their opponents see them sweat. They were determined to win and they didn’t allow their opponents to get on the score board finishing 6-0, 6-0.  “Kira and Miranda are gaining confidence and steam as they head into the second half of the season. Working on their net game and placement make them a force to reckon with as the season progresses,” says Deacon.

Melrose has a “big” week ahead as they face three big schools in competition this week: Reading, Woburn and powerhouse Winchester on Friday. Says Deacon, “It’s a tough week and we hope to be a fierce competitor and see where the ball bounces.”