Raider tennis squads close out their seasons

Boys Tennis

They were hoping to end the season with a win, but the Watertown boys tennis team will have to wait at least until next April to get a victory, as the Raiders ended their 2007 campaign winless following a 4-1 loss to visiting Woburn on May 29.

“I wish we were able to win one this season,” Watertown head coach Dan Cedrone said. “But the good thing about the season is that everybody played better as the year went on.”

One guy that was easy to notice improvement on was number-one singles player Dave Siannissian. The senior would go out a winner in his final match as a Raider, as he accounted for the team’s only point on Tuesday with an easy 6-0, 6-2 win over an opponent he lost to the first time around.

“Dave was really starting to develop into a quality player,” Cedrone said. “But unfortunately now, he is leaving us.”

On Wednesday, May 24, the Raiders lost, 5-0, at Belmont. They did, however, get some quality play at number-three singles when Pat McCusker took his opponent to three sets. After winning the first set 7-6, the senior lost the next two, 1-6, 3-6.

Another player who performed well for the locals was junior Will Steadman at number-two singles. Steadman lost, 3-6, 6-7, but his head coach was very pleased with his play.

“He looks to be the favorite to be our number-one singles player next year,” Cedrone said. “He has the potential to do a good job in that role. We lose six seniors to graduation, so the bar is going to be very high next year. I told my underclassmen that they have to play a lot this summer.”

Girls Tennis

The Watertown High girls tennis team finished off its regular season in a 5-0 loss to visiting Belmont.

The Lady Raiders had a shot to come up with a point in third singles, but Zae Millstein, who won her first set and lost her second set in a tiebreaker, got sick and had to forfeit the third and deciding set.

“The one thing we accomplished this season we forced a lot of third sets,” Watertown girls head coach Jill Zeikel said of the May 23 match. “That is something we haven’t done in the past.”

Zeikel’s team finished with two wins (both over Mount Saint Joseph’s) this season, but avoided a lot more shutouts and, as she said, forced more opponents to go to a third set and battle harder to earn their points.

“I feel really good about the improvements we made this season,” Zeikel said. “There were a lot more points scored by our team. We took a lot more single matches.”

Players such as Judy Choy, Svetlana Gankina, Millstein and Megan Pelletier were among those who got their share of points for the Raider squad this season. Watertown will lose two starting seniors to graduation, but next season are expected to bring back as many as five staring juniors.

“I am hoping we can continue to build on what we accomplished this season,” Zeikel said.

There was talk earlier in the week of possibly rescheduling a postponed match-up with Woburn this week, but with the seniors already graduated, that appears unlikely.