Published in the May 13, 2016 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE — Given their historic season in 2015, it’s come to no surprise that the Melrose High boys’ tennis team remains undefeated in the Middlesex Freedom league at 6-0 and poised to capture their third straight league title.
Last year, the team rocketed toward the top of the Div. 2 North field after securing a 14-4 record and a Freedom League title. This season, the team sits at 7-3 and 6-0 in league play, a fine place to be, according to head coach Matt Williams.
“One of our goals is to earn our third straight league title, certainly. That would mean a lot to this team,” says Williams. “We also would like to return to playoffs for another crack at a good post season run. Last year we advanced to Div. 2 North semis and we’d love to do it again.”
After battling a week of rain delays, the Red Raiders were back on the court on Monday at home in Melrose at the Richard Lyons Courts. There, they prevailed over Wilmington, 4-1, which earned them their seventh win of the season. Prevailing in singles were Jack Mays in second singles and Sean Donovan in third, who both won in straight sets. The doubles teams were equally as successful sweeping their Wildcat competition in straight sets. Earning the wins were first doubles pair Sam Stallings and Caleb Zimmerman, and second doubles pair Sean Prendergast and Jason Jang.
Says their coach. “Everyone has been playing really strong, Sean has really improved, Jack is such a fighter. Julian [Nyland] has the toughest spot in number one and is playing great in the top position.”
Should Melrose prevail on Burlington on Wednesday (post deadline), the league title will be theirs alone. Melrose previously beat the Red Devils 4-1 earlier in the season and a loss might results in a shared league championship. Either way, the team will be ready.
“We’re playing strong, we have one eye on playoffs,” says William. “Julian is our lone senior and wrapping up an incredible athletic career at Melrose High through football and basketball. Our doing well in a post season would be a great way for him to go out.”
Melrose’s finishes the regular season with Freedom League play, looking to earn two wins to officially clinch playoffs. Two home matches remain.
Wed. 5/11 vs. Burlington, 3:45
Thu. 5/12 @ Wakefield, 6:00
Mon. 5/16 @ Watertown, 3:45
Wed. 5/18 vs. Stoneham, 3:45
Middlesex Freedom Standings
Team League All Home Away PF/G PA/G
Melrose 6-0 7-2 4-1 3-1 3.6 1.4
Burlington 3-1 4-4 3-3 1-1 2.4 2.6
Wakefield 2-1 2-6 1-2 1-4 0.9 4.1
Wilmington 2-2 2-5 1-2 1-3 1.6 3.4
Watertown 0-4 0-7 0-4 0-3 0.3 4.7
Stoneham 0-5 0-10 0-4 0-6 0.4 4.6