Published in the April 28, 2017 edition

THE MELROSE girls' tennis team fell short against Wakefield, 5-0, on Monday, April 24. (Donna Larsson photo) 

THE MELROSE girls’ tennis team fell short against Wakefield, 5-0, on Monday, April 24. (Donna Larsson photo)

MELROSE — The Melrose High girls’ tennis team is still searching victory after falling 5-0 to Wakefield on Monday, April 24 at home at the Tremont Street Court. But according to their coach, Deb Deacon, the team is on the right path to improvement.

“It’s been a tough start to the season as we are 0-6,” says Melrose coach Deb Deacon. “We are young, inexperienced and growing but that’s okay; we’re having fun and we are great sports.”

Deacon points out how they team was able to overcome a limited roster during school vacation week. It allowed opportunities for players to step up and experience varsity play. That includes senior Olivia Sampson, who saw time in 3rd singles. “She has been playing doubles but when the team needed her, she stepped up. During introductions, she met a member of the Wakefield team, her opponent, that she has known since Kindergarten, small world. Olivia played well, had some great shots but fell short to Jenna Mello 0-6, 0-6.”

Julia McLaughlin battled at 2nd singles, but fell to Haley Tanner, 0-6, 0-6. “She’s still a little rusty from vacation but getting out there to work hard despite a very wet spring,” says Deacon.

The battle of the day happened at first singles with Olivia Zibatis, who swapped game for game with Abby Chapman in a fantastic match to watch. There were many deuce points, battles at the net and lobs overhead before Zibatis fell short 5-7, 2-6. “Both girls look forward to their return match at Wakefield for more fantastic tennis,” says the coach.

The first doubles team of Catherine Denning and Colleen Denning had their hands full in a match with a talkative and personable duo of Laura McGovern and Caroline Hurley. While they fell short 2-6, 1-6 Deacon says, “their net play is much improved and they are truly learning how to place the ball.”

Stepping up at 2nd doubles for the team for the missing McGillicuddy and Kavanaugh team, was Hannah Brown and Helen Burtnett. “Hannah and Helen haven’t played together yet this season but they played well.” They fell to Wakefield’s Emily Roberts and Kelsey Callahan 0-6, 1-6.

Says the coach, “We have some young and inexperienced players but they are the nicest girls and eager to learn.”

Mother Nature prevented Melrose from playing Wakefield this week but they will travel to Stoneham on Friday.