IT WAS another playoff bound season for the MHS boy’s tennis team who battled to a 3-2 playoff loss over Mansfield last Saturday. (Raj Das photo




MANSFIELD—The Melrose High boy’s tennis team saw their playoff run end in the opening around of Division 2 tournament on June 1 when No. 25 Melrose (8-10) faced No. 8 seed Mansfield (14-3) and put a bit of a fright in them, allowing the Hornets to escape Melrose’s clutches in a close 3-2 loss.

“Mansfield was a solid team, pretty well-rounded,” said Melrose head coach Sam Stallings after the match. “Even though we came in as the underdogs, in terms of seeding, it was an even match-up.”

But Melrose players played with heart. Taking wins were Dan Teittinen who beat Neema Khosravani by a score of 6-4, 6-4, and teammates Joe Brady and Alec Truesdale who prevailed in second doubles 6-4, 7-6.

“With the way that Daniel was playing at 1st singles, and how Joseph and Alec were playing at 2nd doubles, I could tell early that those guys would come through for us,” says coach Stallings. “All three played solid, poised tennis and frustrated their opponents in their straight-set wins and never really let up. I was very proud of their efforts and their performances—it was probably the best match of the season for all of them.”

Competing in second singles was senior capt. Patrick Stratford who fell to Nikhil Nain by a score of 6-0, 6-2. In third singles, senior capt. Caleb Miller lost to Iniyan Karupussamy by a score of 6-0, 6-3. And in first doubles senior captain Nathan Chow and junior Gautik Singh fell to their opponents.


SENIOR CAPT. Caleb Miller wraps up a very strong 4 years of starting play for the always-successful MHS boy’s tennis team. (Raj Das photo


According to Stallings, the matches at 2nd singles, 3rd singles, and 1st doubles were tight from the start. “Credit goes to Mansfield’s seniors, they frustrated Pat and Caleb and won big pressure points. Pat fought very hard, and started the 2nd set with momentum, but couldn’t pull off the comeback. I thought it was the best match he played in quite a while.”

He adds, “And at 1st doubles, Nathan and Gautik weren’t out-matched, but played hesitant at times and that gave Mansfield’s pair the opportunity to get up on them early in both sets.”

Overall, he found that Melrose was playing solid tennis at the right part of the season. “I felt as though we showed up against Mansfield and played our best tennis so I was pleased with that.”

Melrose graduates five seniors, Tobin Clausin, Joe Smith and captains Pat Strafford, Caleb Miller and Nate Chow. Notes Stallings, “We’ll be losing three seniors that [started] all four of their years at Melrose. Patrick, Caleb, and Nathan have been big contributors for all four years, and I’m grateful for their hard work and efforts. We’ll also be losing Tobin Clouser and Joseph Smith, two guys that have been great additions to our team for several seasons.”

While they will be hard to replace, Melrose has experienced youth on the team that could lend well for future seasons.
No doubt his underclassmen will be ready to step into new roles. Says Stallings, “We had several guys in our line-up with next to no varsity experience and I thought we fared pretty well. Even though we will lose three of our varsity starters, Daniel, Gautik, and Joseph have established themselves as key parts of our lineup, and Alec Truesdale and Sammy McQuaid have lots of potential to perform at a high level. I’m looking forward to what this younger, experienced group can accomplish. I’m not worried about a drop in performance.”