Tennis Boys 2024

SAM RYDER concluded his terrific Wakefield tennis career by joining up with Owen Kelley at second doubles for a thrilling 7-6, 7-6 win in the Round of 16 against Gloucester on June 3. (Courtesy Photo)

GLOUCESTER — The Wakefield High boys’ tennis team battled to the end against the Fishermen at Gloucester High on June 3 but came up just short by a 3-2 score in the Div. 3 State Tournament’s Round of 16. 

The Warriors got victories at first singles from Luke Greif and from the second doubles team of Sam Ryder and Owen Kelley. Gloucester held on for victories in the three other matches to end Wakefield’s strong season. The 11th-ranked Warriors finished their 2024 campaign with an overall record of 11-8.

The 6th-ranked Fishermen (15-6) went on to the D3 State Quarterfinals where they fell to No. 3 Swampscott 3-2. 

“The team played great,” said Wakefield head coach Cheryl Connors. “I’m very proud to be their coach.”

Wakefield and Gloucester also met at GHS in the regular season on May 20, with the Fishermen winning that one 3-2 as well.

As was the case in that match, Greif beat Gloucester’s first singles player, Andry Payano-Sosa, 6-0, 6-2, making quick work so he could root on his teammates. 

The rest of the singles matches didn’t go Wakefield’s way as Trevor Veilleux fell to Anders Littman at second singles, 6-2, 6-3 and Kevin DeGray came up short in a battle with Shane Widfeldt, 6-4, 6-4 at third singles.

Wakefield’s second win of the day came from Kelley and Ryder who won an epic back-and-forth against Gloucester’s Cole Colina and Cam Widfeldt by a final score of 7-6, 7-6, winning both sets in a tiebreaker.

The Fishermen’s first doubles duo of Luke McElhenny and Dom Paone defeated Ben Ryder and Chase McCarthy 6-1, 6-2.

In the end, the Warriors should be proud of their season and their state tournament performance, which started with a 5-0 sweep over No. 22 Nauset in the first round at home on May 31.