Wilmington singles player Anay Gandhi

Wilmington singles player Anay Gandhi sends a backhand shot back towards the net during an earlier season home tennis match.     (photo by Jim Vaiknoras).

WILMINGTON — For the first time in four years the Wilmington High Boys Tennis team will see their season extend beyond the end of the regular season, as they will begin play in the Division 3 North Sectional Tournament next week against a yet to be determined opponent.

In the meantime, the Wildcats wrapped up their regular season with a pair of tightly contested matches, going 1-1 against a pair of Middlesex League opponents, earning a 3-2 win over Watertown last Thursday before dropping 3-2 decision to Melrose in their season finale on Friday against Melrose.

With the 1-1 week, the Wildcats finished their regular season with a record of 6-11.

In the 3-2 win over Watertown, the Wildcats got wins from all three of their singles players, with each of them winning in straight sets.

“That was a good day for us,” Wilmington coach Rob Mailey said. “All three of our singles players were dominant.”

Freshman Anay Gandhi got the Wildcats off to a great start with a 6-0, 6-0 victory in first singles, while senior Chris Spinazola earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory in second singles.

“Anay just played a real clean match. He made very few unforced errors, and his opponent just had no answers for him,” Mailey said. “Their number two player was strong, but Chris was just too steady for him. He wore the kid down, and that happens in a lot of his matches due to Chris’s fitness level.”

In third singles, seventh grader Anuj Gandhi earned a 6-4, 6-0 victory.

“Anuj got off to a bit of a slow start, but he found his game midway through the first set and never let up from there ,” Mailey said.

In first singles, the combination of eighth grader Owen Mitchell and sophomore Colby Scaplen suffered a 7-5, 6-1 loss, while in second doubles, freshman Alexander Paquet and seventh grader Sid Karani dropped a hard fought 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) decision.

“In first doubles, they played a very good first set, but they got a little too defensive in the second set,” Mailey said. “In second doubles, they struggled a little bit early on, but they played very inspired tennis in the second set.”

On Friday of last week, the Wildcats completed a match against Melrose from a couple of weeks that had been suspended due to rain midway through the original match.

The Wildcats had held a small lead in original match against their formidable opponent, but couldn’t quite close it out in the resumption dropping a 3-2 decision.

“That was a heartbreaker,” Mailey said. “That was our closest match of the season.”

In first singles, Anay Gandhi had split the first two sets during the original meeting, but he came up just short in the third set on Friday to drop a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 decision.

Spinazola picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win in second doubles, while Anuj Gandhi dropped a 6-1, 7-5 decision on third singles.

Mitchell and Scaplen earned a 6-2, 6-4 win in first doubles, while Paquet and Jared Benoit fell by a score of 6-4, 6-2 in second doubles.

“That was a nice win for Owen and Colby,” Mailey said. “They beat a real good first doubles team. That was one of their better wins of the season.”

The pairings for the Division 3 North Sectional Tournament will be announced on Friday, and the Wildcats are eager to find out who they will be facing in the first round.

“The boys are very excited about the tournament,” Mailey said. “These kids have worked hard all season long, and I am excited to see what they can do in the tournament.”

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