Secure third victory with 5-0 sweep

WAKEFIELD’s first doubles team was fantastic during their victory over Wilmington yesterday. Lucas Smith (left) moved up from second doubles to help co-captain Max South defeat their opponents, 6-2, 6-2. (Donna Larsson Photo)


WAKEFIELD — Despite the setting sun, the Warriors never faced any darkness on Monday night at Dobbins Courts. Wakefield took on a small but talented Wilmington team, and came up with five strong matches. The Warriors remain undefeated in the Middlesex League Freedom Division, and are 3-1 on the season.

At second doubles, two players were called up to varsity as both Jack Palmer and Joshua Cieniewicz were unavailable to play. Both sophomore Ian Schermerhorn and senior Ryan McCormack stepped up big for the Warriors, securing an overpowering win, defeating Jared Benoit and Alex Flynn, 6-1, 6-0.

“McCormack’s net play was smart, and his slice serve was too much for his opponents to handle,” said Wakefield head coach Cheryl Connors. “Schermerhorn’s backhand has improved over the season, and that played a key role in their victory.”

Senior co-captain Max South and sophomore Lucas Smith, who moved up from second to first doubles, won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, over Anuj Gandhi and Owen Mitchell. South’s serve was powerful and difficult to return, often earning the duo free points. Smith’s hustle was above and beyond, allowing him to have great court coverage.

“Max is a real leader on and off the court and he has stepped up his game considerably this season. Lucas has been a great addition to the team. He is a lefty and has very powerful and consistent groundstrokes, making him dangerous on the court,” said Connors.

At third singles, junior co-captain Johnny Stumpf battled hard for a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Colby Scaplen. The lefty found himself in many long rallies, but was able to outlast his opponent with some great shots.

“Johnny is probably the most consistent player on the team. He rarely makes unforced errors and is always putting the ball back over the net,” said Connors.

Martin Timar faced a tough player in Anay Gandhi, but prevailed 6-2, 6-0. Timar’s powerful forehand was on, allowing him to dictate many rallies, and finish the point off at the net when needed. His serve was also a factor, with many being unreturnable. This is senior Timar’s first year playing for the Warriors tennis team.

Said Connors of Timar, “I wish he started playing as a freshman. He is a tough competitor and I would have loved to have had him for more than one year on the team.”

At first singles, sophomore Noah Greif played his third three-set match of the season, edging out Wilmington’s Chris Spinazola 4-6, 6-4, and 7-3 in the match tiebreak, after being down 0-3. Greif played strong at the beginning, but committed too many unforced errors at the end of the first set. In both the second set and match tiebreak, Greif became more patient in the rallies, forcing Spinazola to commit the errors.

“It is not easy playing first singles but Noah battles it out to the very end. I am glad they had the lights come on,” remarked Connors of Greif’s match.

The Warriors look to continue their momentum against a tough Melrose squad on Tuesday afternoon at the Lyons Tennis Courts. This is one of the strongest starts for Wakefield in many years, but this is only the beginning.

“I am continually impressed by the grit of this team. They are competitive and fight hard for every point,” said Connors. “Last year we missed the state tournament by one match. If the team continues to play as well as they have, I think we have a real shot of making it this year.”