Warriors seek a third straight tournament berth

SARAH STUMPF, a senior captain, returns this spring to lead the Warrior girls’ tennis team. Stumpf played at second singles a year ago. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

SARAH STUMPF, a senior captain, returns this spring to lead the Warrior girls’ tennis team. Stumpf played at second singles a year ago. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

Published in the April 4, 2016 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High girls’ tennis team has made the state tournament the past two spring seasons. The Warriors are hoping for more of the same this year.

Wakefield returns many veteran players from a squad that posted a 9-8 overall record and 9-7 record in the Middlesex League Freedom division. The Warriors clinched a postseason berth, but lost to M.L. Liberty division rival Belmont in the first round.

“We open up with two home matches next Wednesday and Friday,” said Coach Kathy O’Maley, who is in her 10th year as head coach. “I think we’ll do all right. I think we can make the tournament for the third year in a row. We have many returning veteran players.”

The Warriors are still having challenge matches to determine the varsity lineup for the season opener against Lexington. They have two seniors to replace with the graduation of Meghan Chapman and Abby Murphy at first and third singles. So there will definitely be some new faces in the varsity lineup.

The 2016 senior co-captains are Grace Hurley and Sarah Stumpf. Hurley played mostly at first doubles last year while Stumpf played at second singles primarily.

The rest of the seniors on the team include Darcy Drago, Taylor Guarino, Jackie Roderick, Tori Tringale and Mollybeth Whitson. They are all returning players.

Drago and Whitson played primarily at second doubles last year, while Roderick filled in at the varsity when needed.

The returning juniors included Emily Attaya, Abby Chapman, Caitlin Collins, Bella Ferraro, Roxy Margolis and Jenna Mello.

Chapman was teamed with Hurley at first doubles in most of Wakefield’s matches a year ago, while Mello filled in at doubles as well.

The rest of the seniors and juniors that didn’t see varsity team played JV contests for the Warriors.

There is one first year junior. Kelsey Porter on the squad for the first time.

The returning sophomores that are on the roster include Kelsey Callahan, Laura McGovern, Emily Roberts and Haley Tanner.

There are five freshmen on the team for the first time. The newcomers are Anna Beswell, Caroline Hurley, Ariana Margolis, Harini Mohan and Jocelyn Murray.

O’Maley’s assistant coach is her father, Bill Healey. Healey, 86, has been an assistant coach with his daughter for five years. Healey is a former Warrior football player. O’Maley also proudly proclaimed that they are the only father-daughter coaching tandem in the Middlesex League in any sport.

“The kids have improved,” said O’Maley. “The sophomores, juniors and seniors have been taking lessons over the winter. They have significantly improved. It’s a tough league to play in.”

The Warriors will find out right away how tough the Middlesex League is when they face two of the top teams in the Liberty division. Wakefield hosts Lexington on Wednesday afternoon, April 6 and Reading on Friday, April 8. Both matches are at 3:30 p.m. at the Dobbins Courts.