Freedom League victories highlight week

By JENNIFER GENTILE

MELROSE—The Melrose High girls’ tennis team is speeding through the season with four matches under their belt and have picked up two wins, including their home opener against Woburn on March 31, which they won, 4-1.

Despite the extreme wind, Melrose was able to enjoy straight set wins in nearly every event thanks in part to the play of new athletes Isabella Cottrell, Anna Wong, Ava McSorley and Saoirse Stallings, who all competed in their first-ever varsity match. Against the Tanners, Melrose picked up wins in second singles courtesy of Ava Picone and another win by Isabella Cottrell in third singles. Melrose pairs teams were equally as victorious with first doubles being won by Anna Wong and Mackenzie Donovan and second doubles clinched by Ava McSorley and Saoirse Stallings.

Just days later, Melrose would face Belmont and fall, 1-4, to a historically-tough Marauder team. “It was a tough loss but a very exciting match for 1st singles,” reports head coach Lydia Mays, who credited player Ruby Robicheau for her outstanding first singles effort. “Ruby battled it out with Belmont’s number one and she ended up winning in a very exciting tie-breaker.”

Melrose lost to Reading in a very close 2-3 match at home on April 7. Mother Nature was a challenge but the match proved competitive from top to bottom. Winners include Ava Picone in second singles and Ava McSorley and Saoirse Stallings in second doubles. But Melrose picked up a needed win when they traveled to Watertown on April 8 and swept the Raiders, 5-0. Melrose prevailed in 1st singles behind the work of Ruby Robicheau, second singles from Ava Picone and in third singles, Saoirse Stallings. Their doubles pairs won behind the work of Anna Wong and Mackenzie Donovan (first doubles) who took victory along with Emily Chow and Lara Flank-Contin in second doubles. “We found our stride,” says Mays. “Everyone fought. Saoirse and Lara were put into different positions and still found a way to win.”

Melrose is slated to start Middlesex Freedom competition this week, which could lead to more wins. Says the coach, “I’m excited to see how we do this season because I have complete faith in my team,” Mays says. “I could put anyone out there and I would feel confident they could come out with a win.”