Published in the April 18, 2019 edition.


WAKEFIELD — It’s clear the WMHS boys’ tennis team is capable of doing great things. The Warriors continued their mission with meetings against Reading and Gloucester. Wakefield was blanked by the Rockets, but got a sweep of their own against the Fisherman.

Going into the match against Reading, the Warriors simply knew it was going to be a tough match. The Rockets have been a consistent contender in the Liberty division. One thing: Wakefield will put up a fight against anyone, and on April 5, it was clear they did.

“Wakefield can compete against some teams in the Liberty Division. Lexington, Winchester and Reading are always tough, but I am interested to see how we do against Arlington and Belmont,” said head coach Cheryl Connors.

At second singles, Lucas Smith couldn’t find his rhythm against Reading’s Matt Gyurko. A majority of the points were played along the baseline, with back-and-forth rallies with plenty of pace, but Smith would fall 6-1, 6-1.

Both doubles teams for Wakefield weren’t able to work their way into the matches. Josh Cieniewicz and Thomas O’Brien, who was called up from junior varsity with Johnny Stumpf missing the match, were defeated 6-2, 6-0 by Alec Plano and Griffin Collins at first doubles. Ian Schermerhorn and Russell Harter fell to Kyle Heinold and Ryan Sullivan 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles.

At first singles, Noah Greif played a longtime friend of his in Chris Sewall. Though good friends off the court, it was clear the rivalry was ignited on the court. Sewall prevailed 6-3, 6-2 in a match that saw longer rallies, where both players were able to utilize the angles of the court as well as variety with the slice shot.

The most competitive match of the day was at third singles, with Jack Palmer taking on Charlie Cribb. Palmer, who trains at Woburn Racquet Club along with his mom and coach Sandy Palmer, played a fellow member of the club in Cribb. The environment was intense for the entire match, with Palmer’s teammates of Wakefield cheering him on, while his Woburn Racquet Club teammates cheered against him. Palmer would eventually lose 6-2, 6-4, with a battle in the second set, where the final game of the match went to eight deuces.

“Jack put up a great fight despite the crowd. I thought he kept his cool and played hard till the end,” said Connors.

After a tough setback, the Warriors came right back, getting a dominating win over Gloucester and their first sweep of the season.

Jack Palmer overwhelmed his opponent at third singles. Palmer defeated eighth grader Jack Delaney 6-0, 6-0 through his powerful strokes and strategic net play.

Lucas Smith was almost as dominant in his match against Derek Hopkins at second singles, winning 6-1, 6-1. Smith was able to play both a solid game of offense and defense, keeping himself in the point while taking advantage of his opponent’s weaker shots.

At first doubles, Johnny Stumpf and Josh Cieniewicz played some of their best tennis of the season. The duo paired up for a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Second doubles saw a tight contest with Ian Schermerhorn and Russell Harter edging Cam Muniz and Luke Pria, 7-6 (8-6 in the tiebreaker), 6-2. After being down 5-1 in the opening set, the duo powered back to finish off the match.

Noah Greif also kept his winning ways going with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ryan Muniz at first singles. Greif adapted to the tough style of his opponent, and focused on keeping the rallies alive and outlasting his opponent.

Wakefield also collected a win over Burlington on Thursday, but lost to powerhouse Lexington. Coverage will shortly follow on these matches.

The Warriors will look to continue to get back to their winning ways at the Dobbins Courts on Tuesday against Watertown.