JUNIOR Geena Gioioso’s third singles victory helped the girls’ tennis team defeat Marblehead 3-2 on May 25. (Courtesy Photo)
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — With the regular season drawn to a close, the girls’ tennis team is now gearing up for the Division 4 state tournament.
“Lynnfield is playing in the tournament for the 39th year in a row,” said Pioneers head coach Craig Stone.
The Pioneers (13-5) edged Marblehead 3-2 in the final match of the regular season on May 25.
Freshman Paige Martino defeated her first singles counterpart in two sets, 6-1, 6-3.
Senior captain Ann Radulski dismantled her second singles opponent in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
“Paige and Anna were off the court first, and gave Lynnfield a 2-0 lead,” said Stone. “Paige finished the regular season with a 13-5 record and Anna was 16-2.”
Junior Geena Gioioso defeated her third singles opponent in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3.
“Geena clinched the victory with her win at third singles,” said Stone. “She finished the regular season with a 13-5 record.”
Senior captain Lauren Grava and sophomore Maddie Sieve lost their first doubles match in two sets, 2-6, 4-6.
“Lauren and Maddie got off to a slow start,” said Stone. “They rallied when they were down 2-5 in the second set and were able to bring it to 4-5, but they could not hang on.”
Senior Sarah Breslow and sophomore Leticia Marafon came up short in their second doubles match that went to three sets. After losing the first set 2-6, Breslow and Marafon won the second set 6-2. Breslow and Marafon lost the third set 5-10.
“Sarah and Leticia started off slow, but played more aggressively in the second set,” said Stone.
Stone said the Pioneers played very well against the Magicians.
“It was good to get the win to end our regular season after two disappointing loses earlier in the week,” said Stone. “Playing three state tournament-bound teams gave us an indication of the level of play needed to have a successful tournament.”
Clipped by Newburyport
Lynnfield fell 4-1 to Newburyport on May 24.
Stone recalled that the Pioneers fell 4-1 to the Clippers on May 5.
“The Pioneers faired a little better in the rematch, but Newburyport is strong at the top and has great depth,” said Stone.
Radulski won her second singles match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
“Anna led all the way in her rematch,” said Stone. “Earlier in the season, the two battled for two hours, with Anna pulling it out 6-2,7-5. The battle was one-sided this time.”
Martino dropped her first singles match in two sets, 0-6, 0-6.
Gioioso lost her third singles match in straight sets, 4-6, 2-6.
Grava and Sieve came up short in their first doubles match, falling 0-6, 1-6.
Breslow and Marafon lost their second doubles match in two sets, 0-6, 1-6.
Stone said Newburyport is going to go “deep into the Division 3 state tournament.”
“Fortunately for us, we are in Division 4,” said Stone.
Edged by Manchester-Essex
The Pioneers began last week falling 3-2 to archrival Manchester-Essex on May 23.
Martino won her first singles match in two sets, 6-0, 6-1.
Radulski cruised to a two-set victory during second singles, prevailing 6-1, 6-1.
“Lynnfield led 2-0 after Paige won her first singles match and Anna won her second singles match,” said Stone.
Manchester-Essex tied the match at two after the Hornets swept both doubles matches.
Grava and Sieve lost their first doubles match in two sets, 0-6, 1-6.
Breslow and Marafon dropped their second doubles match in two sets, 4-6, 6-7(5).
With the match tied 2-2, Manchester-Essex was able to secure the come-from-behind victory after Gioioso lost her third singles match in three sets. After winning the first set 6-4, Gioioso lost the second set 5-7 and fell 6-7(2) during the third set.
“The third singles match was so evenly played that neither player could gain a competitive advantage,” said Stone. “Finally, a tiebreaker was played at the end of the third set to decide the fate of their match and the teams. Manchester-Essex jumped out early in the tiebreaker, and took a 4-2 lead. Manchester-Essex won the last three points to win the tiebreaker.”
Stone said the match against Manchester-Essex was a teachable moment for the Pioneers.
“You have to go through matches like this to get better down the road,” said Stone. “It sometimes is a tough lesson, but it’s a lesson learned that will benefit you in later matches. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a rematch later in the Division 4 state tournament.”
State tournament update
The MIAA released the Division 4 state tournament brackets this week. To view the brackets, visit www.miaa.net.