The friendship and endurance earned whereas pounding the pavement have lifted Winchester, which was a state finalist in 2018 and 2019, and has a 6-0 file this spring. Winchester isn’t simply undefeated, it has gained its six Middlesex League matchups by a mixed rating of 28-2.
The 19-player roster consists of daring rookies and skilled veterans. A few of these first-years confirmed up within the preseason with a substantial amount of mettle, resulting in some lineup surprises.
“The lineup you will have in your thoughts going into the season usually adjustments,” stated Lowder. “Children will take cost and transfer themselves up and down within the lineup. Our aim over the previous few months is to construct one of the best lineup for our crew.”
One of many newcomers, freshman Kaitlin Tan, shocked many by incomes the highest spot, and she or he has not upset. She has misplaced solely two matches, each to Studying’s personal first singles freshman phenom, Anna Nguyen.
“[Tan] has unbelievable really feel for the ball and for her strokes,” stated Lowder.
It wasn’t simple for Tan to achieve that prime spot. Caroline Fredey, who’s certain for Division 1 Holy Cross within the fall, held the slot throughout her sophomore 12 months in 2019. Fredey, whom Lowder calls “the nicest child on earth,” is enjoying properly this season at second singles whereas serving to the newcomers get acclimated. Excessive-energy sophomore Claire Lupien rounds out the people.
Competitors was additionally fierce for first doubles, with sophomore Abby Wilson and junior Maddy Buck incomes the place. The pairing made unbelievable strides within the offseason.
“They’re nice buddies,” stated Lowder. “They labored on how you can cowl the courtroom and how you can take care of opponents who could be extra aggressive than them.”
The spine of Winchester is at second doubles, with battle-tested seniors Caroline Andrews and Olivia DeMichaelis not solely pairing up on the slot, however serving as captains. Grace Thompson, the third captain, has been a key a part of Winchester’s doubles lineup previously, however a knee damage suffered within the final volleyball sport of the Fall II season took her out of her ultimate season of tennis.
The lack of Thompson, who was at second doubles by way of 2019′s deep postseason run, is unlucky. As soon as the state event rolls round, which Winchester will elect to play in, doubles groups could make or break title probabilities.
“We’re solely going to be good as our doubles enable us to be,” stated Lowder.
If the season’s outcomes to date are any indication, doubles will enable Winchester to be nice. After two consecutive Division 2 state title losses to Martha’s Winery, Winchester hopes it has the endurance to get there once more and have the third time be a allure.
“We’d like to get again to that match, whether or not it’s towards Martha’s Winery or another person,” stated Lowder.
A improbable level of symmetry is brewing at Winchester’s Middlesex League rival Studying.
In 1993, Chrissy Cerretani recorded the primary undefeated season for a Rockets tennis participant, boys or ladies.
Now a first-year coach of the Rockets, the previous ATP Tour coach’s file might presumably be damaged by Nguyen, and Cerretani couldn’t be prouder.
“It’s unbelievable that it’s taking place like this,” stated Cerretani. “I’m so honored to be her coach.”
Nguyen, who’s ranked second in her USTA age group in New England, is 6-0 this season with 4 matches remaining.
Cerretani, who performed at Clemson and Boston College earlier than embarking on a 20-year teaching profession, stated that along with being immensely proficient, Nguyen thrives in a crew atmosphere. She has been nationally ranked for years however nonetheless makes time for the highschool crew for the camaraderie.
It’s very acquainted to Cerretani, who was additionally nationally ranked and joined Studying’s squad as a sophomore for related causes. She hopes that the love of the sport that each exhibit interprets to a rebirth for Studying, which has struggled in recent times.
“I’m so proud of all of them,” stated Cerretani. “We’re a really younger crew, however they’ve made unbelievable enhancements.”