Published in the May 11, 2021 edition.
By DAN PAWLOWSKI
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield High girls’ tennis team is off to a great start in 2021, beating Watertown twice to kickstart their first season in two years.
“It’s been great getting back on the courts this year,” said head coach Kathy Healey. “The players and I are very excited to be back.”
The Warriors hosted the Raiders in the first match on Thursday, winning by a score of 4-1. Wakefield then won in Watertown on Saturday, 3-2.
Wakefield returns a strong group of experienced players led by senior captains Hannah Guay and Erica Pecjo, both of whom will be counted on as singles players. Guay won her first matchup on Thursday at second singles by a score of 7-6 and 6-0. Pecjo has missed the first two matches but will return as a key singles player.
“They are both wonderful leaders and positive role models for the team,” said Healey of her two captains.
Junior Annie King took on the challenge of playing at first singles in both of the first two matches.
Wakefield’s doubles teams have gone a combined 4-0 in their first two matchups.
Juniors Panagiota Koutroubis and Haley Ogier were doubles teammates as freshmen in 2019. They played at first doubles in both matches, winning 6-0, 6-1 on Thursday and 6-1, 6-0 on Saturday.
The second doubles team changed from Thursday to Saturday with Emma Fitzgerald as the one constant. Sydney Moon teamed up with Fitzgerald on Thursday to win 6-1, 6-1 while Fitzgerald and Ariannah Tringale won on Saturday, 6-0, 6-2 as the deciding game.
Moon stepped up to third singles and was Wakefield’s only winning singles player on Saturday with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Megan Cohen will play some doubles when the Warriors are at full strength. She played third singles on Thursday and second singles on Saturday, winning on Thursday by a score of 6-1, 6-0.
Wakefield’s depth has been key to their early season success, something that Healey knows is important for a triumphant season this year and in the future.
“I’ve been coaching here for 18 years and this year, I kept the largest team I’ve ever had at 26 players,” said Healey.
Healey always put an emphasis on having her student athletes use tennis as an outlet. Getting out onto the Dobbins Courts is typically a way for the Warriors to disconnect from their busy academic schedules. This year, the coach is putting even more stress on getting the players to de-stress during these strange and uncertain times. If Wakefield can focus on that, the wins will come too.
“One of our goals this year is to win matches while having a fun and stress-free season,” said Healey. “My players’ mental health is my first priority during this unprecedented season with the pandemic.”
The Warriors will move on to two matches against Wilmington, the first of which will be today on the road at 4 p.m. and on Friday at home also at 4 p.m.