Both Tennis teams struggling in the early-goings | Sports

WILMINGTON – After a tough stretch to start the season, which saw them go 1-3 in their first four matches, the Wilmington High Boys Tennis Team bounced back on Tuesday afternoon with an impressive 5-0 win over the Middlesex League Freedom Division. rival Stoneham.

Stoneham snapped a three-match losing streak on Tuesday’s win over the Wildcats and a signal to return to the playoffs with a familiar 10-0 regular season in the Freedom Division.

“My guys were so frustrated by the slow start that I think they took everything out of Stoneham,” said Wilmington coach Rob Mailey, who saw his team fall to Wakefield by a score of 4-1. “But it was great to see them play as well.”

The Wildcats were actually the top singles players in their game, winning straight sets in each of their three singles players. Senior captain Anay Gandhi was the dominant self in his 6-0, 6-0 victory in the first singles, while sophomore Anuj Gandhi also rolled to a 6-0, 6-3 victory in the second set of singles.

“They both played great and they were both good opponents,” Mailey said. “The kid had good strokes, but he just had no answers for Anay and he just overpowered him. And Anuj played a real athletic kid, but he made the mistake of hitting too many shots to Anuj’s backhand, where he is very strong. ”

Sophomore Sidd Karani also looked strong in the third singles, rolling to a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Mailey is the winner of Tuesday’s win over Karani’s confidence that she needs the rest of the season after making the third singles of the season.

“Sidd has lost a few tough matches, so I was very happy for him,” Mailey said. “It’s been tough for him in his first year in singles, but he’s getting better and better. He is probably his dues right now, but you can see him. ”

The Wildcats also saw two doubles teams dominate their way to victory, with sophomore Eric Packer and junior Owen Mitchell cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over freshman Michael Smaroff and sophomore Ryan Weinstein. -2, 6-0 victory in second doubles.

The Wildcats had a tough 4-1 loss to the Freedom Division rival Wakefield the day after Stoneham was particularly pleased with the win. The Wildcats had a defeated Wakefield double during the regular season last year, but it was a different story this time around.

“It was a combination of Wakefield being a little stronger than we thought they would be, and we’re not playing at our best,” Mailey said. “They really came to play against us. When you are the league champs we are, everyone is out to get you, so we are going to have that ready to go. ”

Anay Gandhi certainly appeared in his first singles match, earning a straight set 6-3, 6-4 victory over Ben Palmer.

“It would have been a much higher score,” Mailey said. “That’s a very high-level match, but Anay just got the big points when he needed them.”

The second and third singles did not go as well as the Wildcats, with Anuj Gandhi dropping a 6-1, 6-1 decision to Wakefield freshman sensation Luke Greif, while Karani dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision to Matt Connelly.

“That freshman for them is going to be a star in this league. He is a very good player and he outplayed Anuj, which doesn’t happen very often, ”Mailey said. “And for the Connelly kid they have always given us tough matches. Sidd is still getting used to singles, and he just needs a little more confidence. ”

Both doubles matches were very competitive, with Mitchell and Packer dropping a 6-1, 7-6 decision in the first doubles, while Sarthak Tripathi and Weinstein battled to a three set loss by 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 .

“Both doubles teams had a chance to win, so that was a little frustrating for them,” Mailey said. “Especially in second doubles, they had a chance to win straight sets, and then again in the third set, but we just couldn’t finish them off.”

Prior to Wakefield, the Wildcats had dropped a 4-1 decision to Middlesex League Liberty Division rival Arlington last Thursday, in a match which Mailey felt his team had beaten very well. 6-3, 6-4 victory.

“We played them with some very high-level matches,” Mailey said. “Anay played his best match of the season. He’s got his feet well and played very smart. “

The Wildcats will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to Watertown High School for a 4:00 pm start. They will then have a bit of a break before returning to action on Monday, April 25 at home against Melrose.

“Hopefully the win over Stoneham was a step in the right direction,” Mailey said. “We want to see how we do when we do Wakefield again and Burlington, but we feel good about getting the win over Stoneham, so hopefully we can go from there.”

GIRLS

Heading into the season, the Wilmington High girls tennis team knew they were playing against the Middlesex League, facing Liberty Division rivals like Reading, Winchester and their first three matches in Arlington.

The Wildcats would have expected that they would have dropped three straight matches to start the season with scores of 4-1, 5-0 and 5-0, respectively. straight sets.

But things have been looking up for the Wildcats in their past two matches. While they may not have been able to pick up their first win of the season, dropping to 0-5 with a 4-1 loss to Wakefield on Monday and a 3-2 loss to Stoneham on Tuesday, the Wildcats were much more competitive, offering A glimpse of improvements they have already made in the coming season, and hopefully continue to grow in the coming weeks.

“That was the kind of message we were going to get at the start of the season,” Wilmington coach Matt Hackett said. “It might not feel like it at the beginning, but those kinds of matches will help them later. It’s a tough way to start, but we will now move on. ”

In the Wakefield match, the second singles at Alyssa Fricia Play, picked up by Lone Win as she defeated Annie King in straight sets with the same 6-4, 6-4 scores.

At first singles, Shubhangi Tripathi had a real tough match with Megan Cohen. Cohen won the first set 6-4, and then the second set was tied at 6-6 with Cohen winning the tiebreaker, 10-5.

At third singles, Wakefield defeated Carolyn Haas-Timms of Emma Fitzgerald, 6-0 and 6-3.

In doubles play, the first team of sophomores Madison Benoit and Sophia LaVita were defeated by Xoni Watson and Haliy Ogier with scores of 6-2 and 6-4. Then the second pair of senior Maddie Ahern and junior Marni McBride fell to straight sets in Sydney Moon and Ariannah Tringali, 6-1 and 6-1.

In the Stoneham match, Fricia kept up her strong play as she topped Chloe Noman, 6-0 and 6-1, giving her two straight match victories. The other win came from the first doubles team of Benoit and LaVita, who defeated Marcidie Boardan and Melis Beloglu, 6-1 and 7-5.

In the other three matches, Tripathi was defeated by Grace Brugan, 6-3 and 6-4, and Haas-Timm was topped by Teagan McCullough, 6-4, 6-1. Finally, senior Medha Pal and junior Julia Kane put forward strong efforts but fell short of teammates Jayne Byrne and Maddie Dileo, who won 6-1 and 6-1.

Wilmington will host Watertown on Thursday at 4 p.m.

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