2022 ML Champs: Top row from left: Coach Lydia Mays, Ava Picone, Isabella Cottrell, Saoirse Sallings, Lily Van Soest, Sophia Scacchi, MacKenzie Donovan, Sofia Cantell, Lara Flank-Contin, Ava McSorley and asst. coach Jared Sawyer. Bottom: Francesca Carroll, Anna Wong, Olivia Frakt, Lauren Roberts, Kunsang Wogthing, Jacqueline Brady, Maya Knupp and Kate McAndrew. Not pictured Emily Chow, Celine Chevathamanon, Layla Szymczak, Ruby Robicheau, Naima Pierre and Sofia Totino. (Terry Bleiler photo)


Talented team advanced to Sweet 16



MELROSE—The league champion Melrose High girls’ tennis team saw their successful playoff journey end with a 5-0 loss over a tough #10 seed Longmeadow team, who traveled to #7 Melrose in Round of 16 play on Friday, June 10 at the Lyons Courts in Melrose, this after the team advanced by beating their Div. 2 opponent, #26 seed Milton, by a score of 3-2 on June 6.

Melrose fell to very competitive Longmeadow, 5-0, coming up short in each set over the course of the day. Melrose sent some of their best players to the court with Ava Picone in first singles, Saoirse Stallings in second and Mackenzie Donovan in third. Doubles was represented by Ava McSorley and Anna Wong (first) and Emily Chow and Lara Flank-Contin (second).

Melrose coach Lydia Mays gives credit where it’s due. “Longmeadow was very good. Their 17-1 record tells more of a story than their 10th seeding in the power rankings. It is obvious that these players have played their whole lives.”

Melrose was tasked with rising to the occasion a bit short handed. Notes the coach, “Because we were missing 2 key players in this match everyone had to shift up. Mackenzie had to play singles for the first time this season. She played well but in the end, her Longmeadow opponent was just very good.”

And while Melrose was simply out performed by their neighbors from the west, it’s been a memorable season for Melrose, who once again clinched a Middlesex League title and, according to their coach, completed one of their best seasons yet. This year they say goodbye to seniors Emily Chow, Celine Chevathamanon, Isabella Cotrell, Naima Pierre, Saoirse Stallings, Ruby Robicheau, Jacqueline Brady, Mackenzie Donovan, and Sofia Totino.


SENIORS WERE key to the great success of the MHS girls’ tennis team. From left (top): Naima Pierre, Mackenzie Donovan, Isabella Cottrell, Ruby Robicheau and Celine Chevathamanon. Front: Jacqueline Brady, Emily Chow and Saoirse Stallings. (courtesy photo)


Says Mays, “I’ve been proud of my players the whole season. At the beginning of the season, almost every match was very close and a hard-fought win. The players never gave up in a close match. I think this propelled us to the best season in Melrose girls tennis history because we were no stranger to 3 set matches and we knew what to do to win them. It also forced the players to improve their skills so they did not have to play in such long matches. My proudest moment came after every match that we fought to win.”

And so much of that was only achieved by the hard work of their seniors and captains Emily Chow, Mackenzie Donovan and Ruby Robicheau. Says Mays, “I’d like to say thank you to all the seniors that are leaving this season. Their commitment to the team was evident from the start. I watched all these seniors get better at this sport over the past 2 seasons and I truly believe that was the key to our success this year. I wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”

Coming off another league-winning season, Melrose will no doubt have high expectations next spring, with some starters Ava McSorley, Ava Piccone, Lara Flank-Contin and Anna Wong returning as a core unit.

Says coach Mays, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach these players this season. I hope to recruit some new players for the team. If there are any 8th graders interested in tennis I hope they are inspired by this team to try out. I also hope that the players on the team this year practice in the offseason and are ready to go next March.”