Martha’s Vineyard girls tennis team heads to the state finals

In a thrilling final matchup, the girls defeated Lynnfield 3-2 in the MIAA semifinals Wednesday afternoon.

Kat Roberts was swarmed by teammates after clinching the Vineyard’s state semi-final victory. — Photo by John Roberts

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) girls varsity tennis team, unbeaten in regular-season play, beat Lynnfield High School Wednesday on the Newton South High School courts to advance to the championship round of the MIAA Division 3 competition.

The girls needed to win three of their five matches. First singles Samantha Potter (6-3, 6-2) and third singles Lizzie Williamson (6-1, 6-7, 6-2)

won their matches. Both Vineyard doubles teams lost (Josie Iadicicco and Charlotte Potter, 5-7, 3-6; Lia Potter and Madison McBride, 0-6, 3-6).

Late in the match, the score tied 2-2, the Vineyard’s fate rested on the shoulders and serve of second singles Kat Roberts. Kat was up to the task.

The Vineyarders defeated Lynnfield High School 3-2 with a nail biter 6-1 third-set finish to advance to the Division 3 state finals.

The girls play central champion Hopedale for the state title at 2:30 pm on Friday, June 19, at St. John’s School in Shrewsbury.

Stage set Friday

The stage was set on Friday when the Vineyard girls took on Dover-Sherborn at the Old Rochester Regional High School courts in Mattapoisett in the south sectional finals. It was the first time in the school’s history it had advanced that far in postseason play.

Samantha Potter was first off the courts, handily beating her first singles opponent 6-0, 6-2. Samantha played smart and strong. At 4-2 in the second set, she brilliantly executed a flawless drop shot that won the seventh game and brought her lead to 5-2. Given that momentum, her opponent was derailed, and Samantha quickly closed out the final game to end the second set.

“She was really good,” Samantha told The Times after her win. “She hit the ball really hard, so I just had to keep it in play one ball longer and make sure I didn’t make a mistake. It was a good match.”

On the doubles courts, the Vineyard ladies fought hard but lost to their opponents. At that point Dover-Sherborn was ahead 2-1.

Charlotte Potter and Josie Iadicicco at first doubles lost 3-6, 3-6, but had a multitude of outstanding points. The competition was tough, and the sun was getting hot.

“We didn’t end up winning, but it was a really great match,” said Charlotte. “We battled back from 5-0, 5-0 both times to get 3-and-3.”

Alison Daigle and Madison McBride at second doubles also lost 2-6, 3-6.

It then came down to the remaining two singles matches. All Vineyard eyes were on Kat Roberts and Lizzie Williamson at second and third singles, respectively.

Lizzie finished first, winning 6-4, 6-0.

“She was unbelievable,” Lizzie told The Times about her opponent. “She was the best person I’ve played this year.”

Soon after, Kat Roberts also pulled out the win 6-4, 6-1, and then the team, coaches, and parents jubilantly ran onto the court to celebrate, chanting, “Kat, Kat, Kat, Kat!”

“Oh my gosh,” said Head Coach Nina Bramhall, who got a bit emotional after the team victory was clinched. “We all got on great; they are a fabulous group of girls, and they rose to a lot of challenges. I never really doubted it. We’re thrilled.”