Published May 29, 2019
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — The girls’ tennis team went 2-1 last week, improving the Pioneers’ overall record to 13-2.
The Pioneers began last week defeating Pentucket 4-1 on May 20.
Sophomore Megan Nevils lost her first singles match in two sets, 2-6, 3-6.
Senior captain Alexa Vittiglio earned a hard-fought victory during second singles. After trailing 1-4 during the first set, Vittiglio rallied and secured a 7-5 first set victory. She won the second set 6-0.
“Alexa finished the league match season with a perfect 10-0 record,” said Pioneers head coach Craig Stone.
Sophomore Emma Gallucci won her third singles match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
“Emma continues to impress on the doubles and singles court,” said Stone.
Senior captain Grace Sokop and junior Gillian Skelley won their first doubles match in two sets, 7-5, 6-4.
“Gillian and Grace continued to be a force at first doubles, as they picked up their fourth win,” said Stone. “Together, they minimized their unforced errors and took advantage of their opponents’ weaknesses.”
Juniors Elena Moisidis and Celeste Joly pulled out a two-set victory during second doubles, prevailing 6-2, 6-4.
“Celeste and Elena kept their opponents at bay and kept both sets close at the beginning, then surging ahead for the ‘W’ in both sets,” said Stone.
Stone commended the locals’ performance against the Sachems.
“It was 85 degrees and was hotter on the hard courts,” said Stone. “The playing conditions were tough, but our players asserted their mental toughness and held on to win four very close matches.”
The Pioneers defeated Ipswich 4-1 on May 21.
Vittiglio got the start at first singles and defeated her opponent in two sets, 6-3, 6-1.
“Alexa moved up and took care of business in her usual machine-like manner,” said Stone.
Gallucci moved up to second singles, where she dismantled her counterpart in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.
“Emma was up to the challenge at the number two spot,” said Stone. “After a 3-2 lead in the first set, she ran off nine games in a row.”
Joly started at third singles and defeated her opponent in two sets, 6-0, 6-0.
“Celeste showed her court versatility,” said Stone. “Normally a doubles player this season, she seemed quite comfortable on the singles court. She won all 12 games.”
Sokop and Skelley won their first doubles match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
“Grace and Gillian combined for another win,” said Stone.
Seniors Daphne Terris and Emily Strout gave a valiant effort during second doubles but they came up short in two sets, 1-6, 2-6.
“Daphne and Emily made their varsity debut at second doubles and fell to a very formidable foe in straight sets,” said Stone.
Before the match, the Pioneers honored Sokop, Vittiglio, Strout, Terris, senior captain Nina Dunn, senior Jenna Robbins and senior Julie Lynch during the annual Senior Day ceremony.
“It’s always nice to get another win, but especially on Senior Day,” said Stone. “Our six seniors will graduate playing a combined 23 seasons, with all of them having the opportunity to contribute to our program over the past four years. Each one of them daily demonstrates the concept of ‘TEAM’ (Together Each Achieves More).”
Falls to Marblehead
The Pioneers concluded last week falling 3-2 to Marblehead on May 23.
Nevils lost her first singles match in two sets, 0-6, 1-6.
Vittiglio dropped her first match of the season after coming up short in three sets at second singles. After losing the first set 6-7, Vittiglio bounced back and won the second set 6-2. She lost the third set 1-6.
Junior Claire Yang lost her third singles match in three sets. After winning the first set 6-1, she lost the second set 6-7 and fell 5-7 during the third set.
Gallucci and Skelley won their first doubles match in two sets, 6-4, 6-2.
Sokop and freshman Anna Radulski won their second doubles match in three sets. They won the first set 6-1, lost the second set 5-7 and prevailed 6-2 during the third set.
Stone said the Pioneers played very well against the Magicians.
“It was a great team match,” said Stone. “Outstanding tennis played at all five spots. I would love to have a rematch at the team tournament, but they play in the Division 2 North while Lynnfield is in Division 3.”