THE PLAYOFF-bound Melrose High boy’s tennis team celebrated their seniors prior to their home game against Stoneham and enjoyed a 5-0 sweep. Pictured is the team with seniors Sean Donovan, Dan O’Donnell and Ian Kamosa. (courtesy photo Kacey Blevins)
Update post publication:
Melrose defeats North Quincy 3-2.
Melrose falls to Duxbury 5-0 in D2 States Round of 16 on Tuesday (6/6)
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High boys tennis team are heading to the Div. 2 playoffs.
Earlier this week, MIAA pairings were released and Melrose has drawn the 16th seed in the Div. 2 field and thanks to their winning 10-7 record they will host first round play on Thursday at the Lyons Court in Melrose when they take on #17 seed North Quincy (12-8).
“This is will be the first time we’ve hosted a playoff match since I’ve been coach,” says Melrose head coach Sam Stallings. “North Quincy is not a team that we’re familiar with, so we’ll be focused this week on working on some of the things that hurt us in the matches from last week, and building off of the things that worked for us.”
Melrose is coming off a couple weeks of split result play, taking a 4-1 win over Malden but falling to Arlington and Burlington. They played the Golden Tornadoes on May 24 and got wins from Daniel Teittinen at 2nd Singles (6-0, 6-2), Patrick Stratford at 3rd Singles (6-1, 6-3), from Caleb Miller and Ben Rossi at 1st Doubles (4-6, 6-1, 6-4), and from Dan O’Donnell and Nathan Chow at 2nd Doubles (6-3, 6-3).
“This was a good win for us, because Malden’s doubles were pretty solid pairings,” says Stallings of the effort.
Just a day later, Melrose fell to Arlington on the road, 5-0. “Arlington is a team that’s slightly above our level,” says Stallings. “We definitely gave them a scare. There’s plenty to learn from the loss. Particularly, when it comes to managing our emotions and stress under pressure…it will be good for us to put these skills to the test in the playoffs.”
Still, he pointed to solid efforts from his doubles pairings. “I was very happy with the compete level from our doubles pairings, as 1st Doubles (Caleb Miller and Ben Rossi) played a very close first set, they started down 3-0 and then rattled off four straight games, but Arlington ended up winning that set 6-4. And at 2nd Doubles, Dan O’Donnell and Nathan Chow came out hot, winning the first set 6-2. They then lost a close second set, 6-4, and the match got away from them from there (lost in three sets). And Daniel Teittinen lost in two sets at 2nd Singles, but fought hard in the second set, losing the deciding set in close fashion, 7-5.”
On May 22, Melrose fell to rival Burlington, who recently clinched the Freedom League. “They’re the best team in the league,” says Stallings. “Burlington won pretty handedly at all three singles positions, but we felt like doubles could have gone our way. Even in a loss, this match has given us some confidence.”
In their final weeks of regular season play, Melrose hosted Senior Day to honor their three outgoing seniors: captain Sean Donovan, Dan O’Donnell, and Ian Kamosa. All three will be key as they begin their playoff journey.
Notes the coach, “The playoffs provide a clean slate for us, and I’m happy with us finishing in the top half of the rankings to host a Round of 32 match…we believe we can win and move on.”
Fans are encouraged to visit the MIAA website at www.miaa.net or check our social media pages for up to date match information