LOOK OUT for the MHS girls’ tennis team, who are off to a 2-1 start with impressive wins over Reading and Wakefield. Pictured is the team last spring, having lost only 2 seniors since. (file photo)



After press time: Melrose falls to Burlington


Takes down Wakefield, Reading to start season


MELROSE—It’s been an enjoyable –and winning– start to the season for the Melrose High girls’ tennis team, who picked up two wins over the last week with impressive victories against Reading and Wakefield. At 2-2, and with Freedom League competition ahead, it looks like clear skies for this Melrose team.

Their winning ways began on April 2 when Melrose hosted Reading at home at the Lyons court and prevailed in a sharp, 4-1 win.

“We had never beaten Reading in my time of coaching,” said Melrose head coach Lydia Mays. “As a larger school, they’ve always been a competitive team that we’ve had individual victories over, but have never been able to get the team win. As a whole, I’m very happy with the effort we put in to win as a very young team.”

The team, captained by Ava Picone and Kunsang Wogthing, has a large roster with a good amount of freshman. Their seniors include Francesca Carroll, Lara Flank Contin, Aura Machanic and Lauren Roberts.

The team’s large numbers seem to be working. Against the Rockets, Melrose nearly swept the day, enjoying wins courtesy of Ava Picone, 6-2 6-3 in first singles, Lucia Faulkenberry, 6-4 6-4 in second singles. They also saw wins in doubles work thanks to Kunsang Wogthing and Lara Flank Contin, 6-1 6-0 in first doubles, and Tess Isakson and Lauren Roberts, 6-1 6-3 in second doubles. Melrose’s Mary Atkinson fell in third singles, 4-6, 5-7.

Melrose is playing strong at home and that was evident with their victory against Wakefield on Monday, a 4-1 win against a historically strong Warrior team.

“Beating Wakefield was a big accomplishment and I’m excited to see how we do against our fellow Freedom league teams,” says Mays.

Melrose prevailed in all three singles play behind Ava Picone 6-0 6-1 (first) Lucia Faulkenberry 6-3 6-3 (second) and Mary Atkinson 6-0 6-0 (third). Melrose’s first doubles team of Kunsang Wogthing and Lara Flank Contin prevailed 6-3 7-5 while Tess Isakson and Lexi Miller fell to their Wakefield opponents, 3-6, 2-6.

After four matches Melrose (2-2) is showing particular strength and a versatile freshman is making a difference. “Tess Isakson has played both singles and doubles this season,” says Mays. “Her consistency and her commitment to the sport make me feel confident that I can put her in any position with any doubles partner and she will give it her all every time. As a freshmen she will continue to grow and perfect her craft but she is doing everything I could ask for right now.”

Each day brings a new opponent and new strategy for Melrose. Says the coach, “We’re adapting to opponents and the freshmen on the team are working hard, some are playing their first real matches. I want to continue to work on our consistency and aggressiveness. I want my players to put away points and let the other team make mistakes.”

Look for Melrose to keep their winning streak alive when they host Stoneham on Monday at 4:15 p.m.