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Unbeaten Masco, Hamilton-Wenham girls tennis teams Fri for state titles Saturday | Sports

At 11:30 am Saturday, the Masconomet girls tennis team will take on Westborough in the Division 2 state championship held at MIT’s duPont Tennis Courts.

Approximately two-and-a-half hours later, Hamilton-Wenham’s girls tennis squad will waltz onto those same courts for a crack at the Division 4 title.

Having two local teams compete for all the marbles in the same season is remarkable; but to have two do so in the same sport on the same day? That’s virtually unprecedented.

“It’s great,” said Generals’ head coach Joe Maher. “We actually got the chance to scrimmage with Masco before the tournament started and they’re a really strong team. We had a lot of fun with them and we wish them and their coach Kathy (Farnham) the best. They’re a team that we want to keep in our mind for the future as far as playing them in a non-league match.”

Even more incredibly, Masconomet (19-0) and Hamilton-Wenham (22-0) enter their respective finals with unbeaten records. The Generals’ opponent, Wareham, is also perfect at 25-0, setting the stage for a powerhouse tilt.

Wareham is coming off a victory over Hamilton-Wenham’s Cape Ann League rival, Manchester Essex, in the state semifinals, a team the Generals also bested during the regular season.

“I watched that match and they’re a really good team; very similar to us,” Maher said of Wareham. “They’re solid top to bottom with strong singles players and solid doubles teams, and they basically had success against Manchester in a similar fashion that we did. So I think it’s going to be a really good matchup, a fun match for the girls… it’s just a really good matchup for two good programs.”

Hamilton-Wenham will implement their usual lineup of Sky Jara at first singles, Naomi Provost at second singles, Chloe Gern at third singles, Nora Gamber and Brynn McKechnie at first doubles, and Lily Cassidy and Lisette Leonard at second doubles. Maher believes their poise and consistency on the court can be attributed to their well-rounded skillsets.

“They’re mentally tough,” he said. “Most of these girls aren’t just tennis players: we have girls that have played on the school’s state championship soccer team last fall, girls that have played on the Elite 8 volleyball team, the field hockey team that did great, the basketball team … so I think their ability to play different sports and be ready for those intense moments plays a lot into tennis.”

If Hamilton-Wenham is able to come out on top, it would be their first title in program history. Maher had previously guided the Generals’ boys tennis team to its first and only state championship back in 2009.

As for Masconomet, Farnham’s group has also been striving to get to this point all season. The Chieftains boast an equally strong lineup that includes standout sisters Kendall and Teagan (a freshman) Skulley at first and second singles, respectively. The younger Skulley’s insertion into the lineup has only made the team better this spring.

“Our No. 1 (Kendall) is the same as last year; she was the 2021 Northeastern Conference Player of the Year, so no change there,” Farnham explained. “But her sister de ella moved into No. 2 and our No. 3, Nina Klink, was the former No. 2. So having her de ella at No. 3 now, she’s just overpowering, insanely great and so powerful.

“Then our No. 3 (Shaylee Moreno) moved down to play doubles and she’s playing with another freshman, Maya Klink,” Farnham continued. “They’re a very powerful team; they work well together and their chemistry is really good.”

Rounding out the Chieftains’ lineup at second doubles is another impressive tandem: Chloe Ahern and Taylor Mastrogiovanni. “They’re excellent,” said Farnham. “Powerful overheads, just so solid. We have such a deep bench and it goes right into the JV.”

Masco admittedly doesn’t know too much about their Division 2 title game opponent, Westborough. But any team that’s still standing at this point is extremely talented; the team went 13-2 against tough competition this spring and locked up the No. 2 seed in the bracket.

The Chieftains have already upended top-seeded Scituate (4-1 in the semifinals on Wednesday), and would love nothing more than to knock off the next-best team in the final match of the year.

Contact Nick Giannino at Follow him on Twitter @NickGiannino_SN.


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