It’s no secret that Lynnfield girls tennis coach Craig Stone has always taken pride in building teams where “the next man up” theory is more than a cliche.
Wednesday at Swampscott Middle School, Stone put it to the test and came out with flying colors, securing the 600th win of his tennis coaching career (and 1,137 overall combined with wrestling) with a 4-1 victory over Swampscott in the quarterfinals of the Division 3 North tournament.
With Lynnfield’s first singles Megan Nevils down with a wrist injury, Stone reshuffled the lineup, moving Alexa Vittiglio up to first singles and breaking up the first doubles team of Emma Gallucci and Gillian Skelley with Gallucci moving up to second singles and Celeste Joly taking Gallucci’s place with Skelley.
The Pioneers didn’t skip a beat, with Vittiglio winning her match over Swampscott’s Anna Cilley, 6-3, 6-4; Gallucci rallying from a one-set deficit to defeat Lily Sanphy, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2; and Skelley/Joly taking their match in less than an hour, 6-1, 6-2. Bela Ferreira secured match point with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Gina Hollenbach in the third singles match.
Swampscott’s only point was secured by the second doubles Allison and Madeline Trebendis, who defeated Claire Yang and Makayla Maffeo, 6-0, 7-5.
With the win, the Pioneers advanced to Friday’s semifinals against Austin Prep at Reading (1).
St. John’s Prep 5, Chelmsford 0
The No. 7 Eagles cruised to a big win in the opening round of the Division 1 North tournament. Mikey Prokopis (6-2, 6-1), Jacob Salacci (6-1, 6-0) and Jack Malolepszy (6-0, 6-2) each earned a win in singles play. In doubles play, the team of Amal Raisingani and Carlton Riester (2-6, 6-2-10-1) and the team of Brendan Ziegler and Liam Kircher (6-2, 6-1) grabbed wins.
Next up for St. John’s (14-5) will be possibly the toughest test of the season in No. 2 Acton-Boxboro. The Colonials (13-1) won the Division 1 state championship last season and returned almost the entire roster.
“We’ll have to bring our A-game, that’s for sure,” said Prep coach Mark Metropolis. “They’re a very solid team top to bottom, so what we may try to do is strengthen our doubles teams as much as possible and try to win there, then hope one of our singles players can come up with a win. It’ll be tough.”
St. John’s and Acton-Boxboro will face off Friday (4).
Bedford 5, Marblehead 0
After getting upset by the No. 10 seed in the first round of the Division 2 North tournament, the No. 7 Magicians finish the season at 14-7.
Marblehead 5, Danvers 0
The Magicians only dropped three games total across all matches in their win to open the Division 2 North tournament.
Marblehead got wins from Michelle Shub in first singles (6-0, 6-0), Hannah Porath in second singles (6-1, 6-0) and Lisa Krebs in third singles (6-0, 6-1). In doubles play, the team of Mandy DuMais and Simone Likterov (6-0, 6-0) and the team of Cannan and Cahill Whittier (6-0, 6-1) each won.
“The girls made very few errors today and came focused and ready to play,” said Marblehead coach Tracy Ackerman. “It was awesome to have so many members of the community come and cheer us on. We have a deep line up that the whole team feels confident that any position is going to go out and play strong.”
No. 2 Marblehead (18-1) hosts No. 7 Beverly Thursday (4).
Chelmsford 16, Revere 2
The Patriots end the season at 10-9.