Warriors seek to clinch their fourth straight state tournament berth
Published in the March 31, 2017 edition.
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High girls’ tennis team has been pretty consistent over the past five years making the state tournament in four of those spring seasons.
The Warriors are hoping to at least do the same again in 2017.
Despite some key graduations losses, Wakefield does return several athletes and has a roster of tennis players that have improved their game over the winter.
Wakefield will want to take a different route to the state tournament than it took last year when it started off 1-8 and then went on a big 7-1 run in the second half just to clinch a postseason spot. In the first round of the Div. 2 North Tournament, Wakefield ran into a very powerful Wayland team from the tough Dual County League and was blanked 5-0.
If the Warriors can finish with a better regular season record of 8-8 and perhaps get a win in the state tournament, that would be very good as well.
“I think we can get back to the state tournament. We’ve made the tournament in the past four out of five years,” said head coach Kathy O’Maley, who is in her 11th year. “We started off slowly last year and came on strong in the second half. We don’t want to do that again.”
Right now, Wakefield, along with all or most other tennis teams in the state, have been forced to prepare with the late snowfall and rain which has hit the area recently. With more snow, rain, and/or mixed precipitation being predicted for today and tomorrow, the Warriors could be set back even further.
Wakefield has been able to get some indoor court time at the Boston Sports Club, but O’Maley admits that with two courts, there is only so much practice Wakefield can get in. With 24 players on the roster, the task of playing time in practice is more difficult.
O’Maley is still having challenge matches for the Warriors to determine the varsity lineup. The veteran coach is hoping to solidify her starting lineup by Monday.
The Warriors will be be led by senior captains Abby Chapman and Jenna Mello. Chapman played at singles a year ago while Mello was one of the second doubles players.
There are two more returning seniors. They are Caitlyn Collins and Emily Attaya.
The juniors include Haley Tanner, Laura McGovern, Kelsey Callahan, Emily Roberts, Emma Hodzic, and twins Hannah and Olivia Dziadyk.
Tanner returns and was a second doubles player last year while most of the rest made up the JV roster. Hannah and Olivia Dziadyk, two standout players for the league champion girls’ basketball team, have opted to play tennis this spring instead of softball.
The sophomores that are on the Wakefield roster are Caroline Hurley, Ariana Margolis, Harini Mohan, and Jocelyn Murray.
O’Maley saw a good turnout of freshmen as Wakefield will have nine on the team. They are Basia Holowenczak, Effie Koutroubis, Heather Owen, Kelly Hourihan, Kira Strauss, Marissa Ogier, Samantha MacDonald, Sarah Margerison, and Julia Carino.
O’Maley will also be helped by assistant coach Bill Healey, her father, who returns for his sixth year.
Wakefield is scheduled to open up the season on Tuesday, April 4 at 3:45 p.m. when it takes on Lexington in crossover match at the Lexington High School courts.