Faces a tough Winchester squad in round two
Published in the June 9, 2017 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—It was a memorable opening round match between the Middlesex League Champion Melrose boy’s tennis team (13-4) and Arlington (12-9) during the Div. 2 North playoff opener on Thursday, June 1 at the Richard Lyons Tennis Court in Melrose. The Red Raiders prevailed after several hours of play, 3-2.
It was a three hour marathon session between the two teams, coming down to a 2 1/2 hour make or break session in second doubles for Melrose pair Joe Connolly and Sean Prendergast, who battled back from a 6-3 first set loss to win the remaining sets 6-4, 7-5 and help Melrose take a 3-2 victory over the Spy Ponders.
“This was a fantastic win,” said coach Matt Williams. “We had a lot of fans on hand and it was a beautiful day.”
Elated Raiders poured water on each other in celebration after fighting a long battle in sun-filled heat. Winners of the day included Sean Donovan in third singles in straight sets of 6-4, 6-2, and first doubles by Sam Stallings and Caleb Zimmerman. “Both did amazing. It was a great battle,” says their coach. Jack Mays and Jason Jang fought tough battles in first and second singles, respectively. “The competition was tough but they played some of their best matches of the season,” says Williams.
Earning their 13th win of the season was a moment of pride for the Raiders, particularly their seniors. “It was a roller coaster ride, but to win it in front of family and friends was great,” said the coach.
With the victory Melrose, at press time advances to face #2 seed Winchester (14-2) on Wednesday (post deadline) The Sachems beat Melrose rather handily in the regular season, but Williams is optimistic.
“Winchester is an excellent team and we are just happy to have made it this far,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy the competition.”
Stay tuned next week to see how the Raiders fair.