5-0 to start the season
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High girls’ tennis team is off to a 5-0 start thanks to consecutive wins over Stoneham and Watertown in the first two weeks of play. They beat Stoneham twice in shutouts of 5-0 and lost just one set in two matches against Watertown (5-0, 4-1) last week and capped it off with a nice 5-0 home victory over Wilmington this past Tuesday.
Players starting for Melrose in single play during their matches were Grace Sanderson (1st), Emma Miller (2nd) and Ruby Robicheau (third). Melrose has also enjoyed doubles play from Ava Picone and Emily Chow (first doubles) and Dara Casey and Haley Smith (second). Melrose has also seen play from Mackenzie Donovan in doubles as well. It’s been a flawless season for all of them, picking up set win after set win.
“I’m happy with the lineup I have,” says Melrose head coach Lydia Mays. “We continue to do challenge matches but the lineup hasn’t changed as a result since the second match.”
She points out the great effort of senior captain and singles player Grace Sanderson. “Both times she played her Watertown opponent she went into 3 set matches and came out victorious. She had a big blister on her hand but she kept her head down and fought hard to win both matches. I am very proud of her and my other 25 athletes on the team.”
Getting ample team practice time in has helped make the difference for Melrose. “We practice hard every day,” says the coach. “The weather hasn’t stopped us from getting on the courts. We work on key skills in practice and play competitive matches against ourselves.”
Obviously they’re doing something right and the formula is working. But there are areas of focus the coach would like to work at as well. “I’d like to see all of my players work on their aggressiveness. At practice, we have been focused on our placement of the ball and not being afraid to go to the net.”
After a couple of matches against Wilmington, ahead of them is some quality competition against Burlington and Wakefield. Says Mays, “I still think they will be our strongest opponents.” But as of right now, this team might be eying a league title. Stay tuned.