SENIOR CAPTAINS Lauren Grava (left) and Anna Radulski are looking forward to leading the girls’ tennis team back to the state tournament for the 39th consecutive year this spring.(Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — The girls’ tennis team is back on the court and is looking to make some noise during the Division 3 season.

The Pioneers concluded the 2021 season with a 9-4 record, and qualified for the Division 3 North state tournament for the 38th consecutive year. Lynnfield fell 3-2 to Swampscott during the Division 3 North quarterfinals.

“We graduated five of our top eight players from last season,” said Pioneers head coach Craig Stone. “We have three returning starters with senior captain Anna Radulski, senior captain Lauren Grava and junior Genna Gioioso. Out of the 18 present players, 13 are first-year team members. Our goal is to improve each day and be ready for the state tournament.”

Radulski is starting at second singles this spring.

“Anna played third singles last year,” said Stone. “She is a three-year varsity starter. She is a talented all court player.”

Grava is playing first doubles once again this season.

“Lauren also played first doubles last year with Emily Goguen,” said Stone. “She is a two-year varsity starter who understands the game of doubles and has the complimentary skills and experience necessary to be an effective player on the doubles court.”

Stone said Grava and Radulski have both been excellent leaders for their teammates.

“Anna and Lauren are team-oriented, good communicators and possess a leadership style that has created a very positive, energy-filled environment each day at practice and matches,” said Stone.

Gioioso is starting at third singles for the Pioneers.

“Geena has been on the varsity team since she was a freshman,” said Stone. “She was a full-time starter at second doubles last year and got some time at third singles as well. She worked on her game during the offseason and has really improved. She is going to have a good year at third singles.”

Freshman Paige Martino has been selected to play first singles this year.

“Paige is a promising new player,” said Stone. “She is also an all court player who comes to us with a competitive background that includes some United States Tennis Association Junior Tournament play.”

Sophomore Maddie Sieve is Grava’s first doubles partner.

“Maddie did not play tennis last year because she was on the track team,” said Stone. “She comes to us with a tennis background of previous lessons, and has combined with Lauren’s experience to form a successful duo.”

Stone said the second doubles team will feature senior Sarah Breslow and sophomore Leticia Marafon.

“Sarah and Leticia are gradually building the rapport and teamwork necessary to be successful,” said Stone. “They have shown great promise.”

Stone has high hopes for the Pioneers this spring.

“We are experienced at singles, have potential at doubles, and have a willingness to train, compete and use the feedback from competition to work and improve,” said Stone.

“We need to work on becoming more confident and we need to trust our strokes. Sometimes we can get a little tentative with our stokes and strategy.”

Edges Swampscott

The Pioneers opened the 2022 season by defeating Swampscott 3-2 on April 5.

Martino earned her first varsity win after securing a two-set victory in first singles, 6-0, 6-3.

Radulski cruised to a second singles victory in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

Gioioso won her third singles match in two sets, 6-0, 6-1.

Grava and Sieve lost their first doubles match in three sets. After winning the first set 7-5, Grava and Sieve lost the second set 3-6 and dropped the third set tiebreaker 8-10.

Breslow and Marafon lost their second doubles match in two sets, 1-6, 4-6.

Stone commended the Pioneers for earning a hard-fought victory against the Big Blue.

“It was nice to start the season with a win, especially against Swampscott after they knocked us out of the North Sectional Tournament in the second round last spring,” said Stone.

Dethrones Knights

The Pioneers defeated North Andover 4-1 on April 8.

Martino cruised to a straight set victory in first singles, 6-1, 6-1.

Radulski won her second singles match in two sets, 6-2, 6-3.

Gioioso earned a hard-fought third singles victory in two sets, 6-1, 7-6.

“Geena rallied back from being down 2-5 in the second set tiebreaker to win the tiebreaker 7-5,” said Stone.

Grava and Sieve won a three-set victory during first doubles. After losing the first set 6-7, Grava and Sieve bounced back and won the second set 7-6 and prevailed 10-7 during the tiebreaker.

“First doubles split sets again for the second consecutive match, but this time won they super tiebreaker to get the win,” said Stone.

Breslow and Marafon lost their second doubles match in two sets, 3-6, 5-7.

Stone said the Pioneers played very well against the Scarlet Knights.

Upcoming matches

Lynnfield faced Bishop Fenwick on Monday, April 11, taking place after deadline. The Pioneers host Amesbury on Wednesday, April 13, beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Lynnfield Middle School.

The Pioneers return to the court after school vacation on Tuesday, April 26, when Lynnfield hosts Newburyport, beginning at 3:30 p.m. at LMS.