THE MHS Girls tennis team wrapped up another playoff bound season with a D2 opener loss on Saturday. (file photo)



Published June 7, 2024


MARBLEHEAD—The Melrose High girls tennis team saw their post season end in the first round of the Div. 2 playoffs on Saturday, June 1 when they fell to No. 15 seed Marblehead 3-2 in a close match on the road. No. 18 seed Melrose finishes their season at 6-10.

“They were a very good team. Their doubles teams were consistent and strong hitters. We couldn’t figure out how to beat them in games” said Melrose head coach Lydia Mays.

Prevailing against their Marblehead opponents were Melrose’s Ava Picone in first singles, who won in sets of 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Her teammate Lucia Faulkenberry also beat her opponent in second singles by sets of 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Marblehead would take the other matches including second and third singles, played by Melrose’s Lucia Faulkenberry and Tess Isakson, respectively. Melrose’s doubles pairs also fell to Marblehead, behind the work of Kunsang Wogthing and Lara Flank Contin, and Aura Machanic and Mary Atkinson.

All three singles matches went into 3 sets, helping to push Marblehead perhaps unexpectedly. “In the hot weather, we proved to be stronger in the 1st and 2nd singles positions. Ava, Lucia, and Tess lost their first set but found a way to win the second set. After that Ava and Lucia dug deep and I am so proud of their hard work and persistence. They kept fighting till the end.”

This season Melrose will lose six seniors: Lara Flank Contin, Francesa Carroll, Aura Machanic, capt. Kunsang Wogthing, Lauren Roberts, and capt. Ava Picone.

“I’m very upset about the seniors graduating. I have been their coach for all 4 years,” says Mays. “They were my first freshmen class of tennis players. They are the kindest and most hardworking students I have come across in my 7 years of teaching. The team and I will miss their leadership on and off the court.”

They do return some young starters who are sure to keep Melrose competitive in years to come. Says coach Mays, “I’m so proud that I had 3 freshmen playing varsity in a tournament match. I look forward to seeing how good these freshmen will get by their senior year. And in the meantime, our mission for the off-season will be to work on getting faster, stronger, and more consistent on the court.”