Published in the May 18, 2016 edition
By DAN TOMASELLO
WESTON — The girls’ tennis team shined during the State Individual Singles and Doubles Tournament at Weston High School last weekend.
First singles sensation Sarah Mezini and the second doubles team, featuring junior Katie Nugent and Hayley Timmons, advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament, which will take place in Lexington this weekend. Pioneers head coach Craig Stone informed the Villager this component of the tournament “combines the Weston semifinalists with the Lexington semifinalists to make a new quarterfinals, where a sectional champion will be crowned.”
After being awarded a bye in the first round, Mezini began the tournament defeating Watertown’s Lilian Mar 6-4, 6-1 in the round of 32. Mezini defeated Boston Latin’s Jamie Weisberg in two sets, 6-2, 6-0, in the round of 16. Mezini defeated Newton South’s Karla Schwartz in two sets, 6-1, 7-6, to advance to next weekend’s tournament.
“This is the third time in three years that Mezini, a junior, has advanced to the quarterfinals,” said Stone.
In the second doubles tournament, Nugent and Timmons defeated their Chelmsford counterparts in two sets, 6-3, 6-3, in the round of 32. Nugent and Timmons defeated Reading’s second doubles team in two sets, 6-1, 6-2, during the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, Timmons and Nugent defeated Boston Latin’s second doubles team in two sets, 7-6, 6-3, to advance to next weekend’s tournament.
Stone praised Nugent and Timmons’ performance during the tournament.
“This was the surprise of the tournament,” said Stone. “Second doubles teams typically do not make it to the second weekend as the first and second doubles teams compete together in the same draw.”
In the second singles tournament, junior Katie Nugent won her first match by default. Nugent lost to Wayland’s Sydney Hus in three sets in the round of 32. After winning the first set 6-1, Mezini lost the second and third sets 3-6 and 4-6 respectively.
“It was a great match that lasted two hours,” said Stone. “A lot of long rallies.”
In the third singles tournament, senior captain Amanda Stelman defeated Chelmsford’s Abigail Segal 7-5, 6-3 in the first round. Stelman was trailing 1-4 in the first set before rallying to win the first set. She led the second set from start to finish. Stelman fell to Beverly’s Vanessa Kitova 0-6, 0-6 in the round of 32.
After being awarded a bye in the round of 32, the first doubles team featuring senior captain Olivia Skelley and junior Camie Foley defeated Marblehead’s first doubles team in three sets. After losing the first set 4-6, Skelley and Foley won the second and third sets 7-5 and 6-3 respectively.
Skelley and Foley fell to Reading’s Ellie and Ruthie Wilson in two sets, 3-6, 0-6, during the quarterfinals.
Stone said he was pleased with his squad’s performance during the Individual Singles and Doubles Tournament.
“The tournament is a great opportunity to play the best players in the state,” said Stone. “I was very pleased with our results as a team and excited to be back next weekend with our first singles and second doubles team.”
The Pioneers began last week defeating Triton 4-1 May 9. The victory enabled the locals to qualify for the Division 3 North state tournament for the 34th straight year.
Nevils defeated her first singles opponent in two sets, 6-0, 6-1. Skelley made the switch from first doubles to second singles and won the match in two sets, 6-1, 6-2. Senior Mariana Theophiles lost her third singles match in two sets, 2-6, 2-6.
The first doubles team featuring Timmons and Nugent defeated their counterparts in two sets, 6-1, 6-3.
The second doubles team consisting of seniors Nicole Davie and Ally D’Amico won their match in three sets. After falling 1-6 in the first set, Davie and D’Amico won sets two and three 6-1 and 6-3.
Stone said the Pioneers sat our a few varsity starters to “use the depth we have on our roster.” He also said the Pioneers were able to use six courts for JV matches.
“Varsity showcased the depth they have and we got to play plenty of JV matches,” said Stone.
The Pioneers dismantled Newburyport 5-0 May 11.
Mezini won her first singles match in two sets, 6-0, 6-1. Nevils cruised to a two set victory in second singles, prevailing 6-2, 6-1. Stelman defeated her third singles opponent in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
“Another dominant performance from the singles players,” said Stone. “Mezini continues to hit winners from both the forehand and backhand sides. Nevils is relentless as she moves her opponents all over the court. Stelman has turned the corner these last matches, blending power and control.”
Skelley and Foley won their first doubles match in two sets, 6-1, 6-0.
The second doubles team featuring Timmons and junior Allison Carey won their match in two sets, 6-1, 6-4.
“First doubles was untouchable, winning 12 out of 13 games, while second doubles struggled a bit in the second set but never played from behind,” said Stone.
The Pioneers faced Rockport on Monday, May 16 and Swampscott on Tuesday, May 17, both taking place after deadline. Lynnfield hosts North Andover on Thursday, May 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
“We are 10-1 but have some traditionally strong non-league team matches coming up this week in Swampscott and North Andover,” said Stone. “By the end of the week, we might get a better indication of where we are as a team at this point in the season.”