LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield High girls tennis team rode a strong performance from its doubles teams, which swept both matches, to pull out a 3-2 win over Cape Ann League rival North Reading yesterday afternoon at Lynnfield Middle School.
Sophomore Gillian Skelley and freshman Emma Gallucci needed only 30 minutes to clinch their first doubles match over Alexa Galuppo and Megan Landers 6-3, 6-0 to stake the Pioneers to a quick 1-0 lead.
Some two hours later, the Pioneers’ Cape Ann League Open champion second doubles team of senior captain Makayla Maffeo and sophomore defeated Jillian Coveney and Haley MacIntyre in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 to secure the deciding point in the match and boost the Pioneers’ record to 4-1.
Freshman Megan Nevils also won, taking her match at first singles over Tia Carpenter, 6-3, 6-2.
“I knew coming into the match that it would be a close one,” said Lynnfield coach Craig Stone, who learned Wednesday that he had been named the 2018 MIAA Girls Tennis Coach of the Year. “North Reading was 4-0 and they have had some nice wins earlier in the year. We saw them at the Cape Ann League Open and knew it was going to be a good test. The nice thing about today was we had chance to win every one of the five matches.”
While the Pioneers prevailed, the match did not start well for Lynnfield, especially for Skelley/Gallucci.
“They actually got off to a slow start and were down 3-2 at one point, then they came back and won nine games in a row or something like that,” said Stone. “They are a very solid team. Gillian is a little more steady, but she needs someone like Emma to change up the pace and put some balls away when she has the opportunity. They have done well, their only loss so far has been to Manchester.”
Junior captain Alexa Vittiglio lost a marathon of a match at second singles, losing 6-4, 5-7, 4-6 to Ava Czarnota.
“It seemed like she had so many game points in that second set to force a tie-breaker,” Stone said. “We have a saying that you have to play 2-point tennis, meaning you have win two points in a row, but it seemed neither player seemed to be able to get those two points in a row.”
Pioneers senior exchange student Bella Ferreira lost 2-6, 2-6 to Kylie Scher at third singles.
“She was playing the CAL Open finalist, so it was a competitive match, but Bella was much more aggressive today and rightly so, but she made some errors as well,” Stone said.
The Pioneers’ next match is May 2 at Amesbury.