Melrose 3-0 to start the season

Published May 14, 2021


MELROSE—It’s been two years since the Melrose High girls’ tennis team hit the courts in Melrose and now they are back in action and wasting no time assembling wins. Melrose is off to a nice 3-0 start after wins over Stoneham and Watertown this week. 

First year coach Lydia Mays is thrilled with the amount of talent on this Melrose team. “We have 26 girls on the roster. And I’m excited about every one.”

MELROSE GIRLS tennis is 3-0 thanks in part to the fine work of Grace Sanderson in first singles. (file photo)

Melrose will be led by 6 seniors including captains Grace Sanderson, Emma Miller and Haley Smith, and seniors Dara Casey, Annalise Catalini and Michaela Szymczak. Captain Grace Sanderson has been playing first singles since her freshman year and Mays is excited to see her compete once more. “Grace knows what is expected and how tough her competition is going to be,” she says. 

Emma Miller and Haley Smith, meanwhile, were a doubles team a few years back and now Miller has advanced into a singles position. “I’m so proud of the strides she has made,” says her coach. 

Another player who will see singles competition is Ruby Robicheau. “She’s a very skillful player,” says Mays. “I thought that she would play doubles because she played that position two seasons ago. She has really impressed me and I think she’ll continue to get better and better as the season goes on.” 

Look for doubles teams to be made up of freshman Ava Picone and junior Emily Chow in first doubles. “I really love this duo because they are cool and calm under pressure,” says the coach. “Nothing seems to phase them and they are working together extremely well.” 

And look for experienced seniors Dara Casey and Haley Smith to represent Melrose in second doubles. Says Mays, “This duo works well together. They’ve known each other for a long time but have never played together. They are continuing to work on pace, placement and consistency out on the court.”

So far, the formula is working. Melrose is winning just about every set they’ve had to date. “We’ve won every set but one in 3 matches,” says Mays. 

And there are plenty of reserves on hand. “This is my first year so I am excited about all my players. It’s an incredible roster of 26 girls and I’m proud to be each and every person’s coach.”

This season Melrose will play each of their ML Freedom opponents (Wakefield, Wilmington, Watertown, Burlington and Stoneham) twice. Mays expects some of the heaviest competition to come from Burlington or Wakefield. Should Melrose continue their winning ways, there is a real chance of winning a sought after league title. “The last and only time it happened was in 2013 during my senior year at MHS,” says Mays. “I think we have a chance but we need to be mentally physically ready to play Burlington.”

Melrose was scheduled to travel to Watertown on Thursday (post deadline) and will host Wilmington on Tuesday at the Crystal Street courts at 4:00 p.m.