The weather may still be cold and grey, but spring was in full swing on the Vineyard’s athletic fields this week as the high school spring sports teams held practices and played in their first games of the season.
The boys’ tennis team split a pair of matches, while the softball team dropped their opener after a promising preseason. The boys’ lacrosse fell behind early in their opener but rallied late to make the game close, while the girls’ lacrosse team was dominant in its opener, winning easily by a 12-goal margin.
This will be a transition year in more ways than one for the boys’ lacrosse team, who replaced previous coach John Stabile with new coach Chris Greene in the off-season. After a 14-4 season last year, which ended with a heartbreaker in the opening round of the state tournament, the Vineyarders should have another strong campaign this year.
The Vineyarders opened their season last Friday against Falmouth, falling behind 2-7 in the third quarter before mounting a furious rally in the final frame to make the game close. But the Clippers put across three goals during the quarter to seal the win by a final score of 10-7.
Liam O’Callaghan led the Vineyarders with three goals and Matt Costello scored twice in the loss.
The team played at Fairhaven yesterday and will then play on the road against inter-Island rival Nantucket this Thursday. They play their home opener on Saturday, April 11, against Barnstable.
The girls’s lacrosse team arguably had its best season last year under coach Betsy Dripps, going 14-4-1 and winning two games in the state tournament before losing to Duxbury in the Division II south section semifinals. And if Tuesday’s game against New Bedford was any indication, the Vineyarders should have another strong season.
The Vineyarders jumped out to a 10-0 lead against the Whalers en route to an easy 16-4 win. Zoe Fisher was brilliant between the pipes, making six saves, while teammates Laura Jernegan, Hayley Pierce and Molly Fischer each scored three goals in the win.
Sophie Lew and Catherine Todd also scored a pair of goals, while Brianna Davies and Ana Cristina Jurczyk also had points.
The Vineyarders renew their ties with the United Kingdom this week when they host an English school visiting the Island. The Vineyarders played the team last year during their trip to England, and now play host to their British counterparts. The Vineyard girls were scheduled to play Cheltenham yesterday, before going on the road to play New Bedford tomorrow and then returning home to play Brits from St. Helen and St. Katharine on Sunday.
The softball team had an impressive slate of preseason games, going 3-0-2 against some of the stronger programs in the state. But the Vineyarders lost their regular season opener on Wednesday against Sandwich by a final of 3-0.
Martha Scheffer pitched well in defeat for the Vineyarders, striking out six, and allowing no earned runs. Errors in the first, fourth and fifth innings led to the three Sandwich runs, while the Vineyarders left multiple runners in scoring position on several occasions.
Emma Frizzel had two hits for the Vineyarders, who fell to 0-1 on the young season.
Coach Josh Burgoyne has high hopes for his team this season, which concluded a successful preseason last weekend by winning two scrimmages and tying two scrimmages against some of the better softball teams in Massachusetts. The games were played at Mashpee High School.
The first opponent of the day was Grafton, who were coming off a 14-6 season during which they earned the number-three seed in the division II central tournament. After falling behind 3-0 in the top of the third inning, the Vineyarders scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning, and held on for a 5-4 win.
Taylor Perrotta, Crystal Miske, Katie Hines and Martha Scheffer all had timely hits; Miske reached safely in both plate appearances, stole two bases, and scored the tying run late when it appeared she was caught in a rundown between third and home.
In the next game against defending division I west champions Amherst, the Vineyarders fell behind 2-0 in the first inning before tying the game in the second inning. The game then went back and forth, ending in a 8-8 deadlock after four innings.
Perrotta went 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases. Scheffer, Emma Frizzell, and Molly Ciciora also had RBIs.
In the third game against Murdock, last year’s number two seed in the division II central tournament, the Vineyarders took advantage of five errors and scored four runs to earn a 4-3 victory. Taylor Perrotta and Emily Williston were able to utilize their speed, drawing walks and stealing bases to manufacture two of the Vineyard runs.
Martha Scheffer pitched all five innings, scattering four hits, striking out three, and allowing only two earned runs.
In the fourth and final game of the long day, the Vineyarders took on yet another tournament-tested team in Lynn Classical.
Vineyarders’ hurler Caroline Davey surrendered only two hits over five innings, striking out three, while giving up zero earned runs.
But with tired legs and a stiff breeze blowing, the Vineyard bats were kept at bay, and the offense managed only a single hit, a slap bunt by Davey. The game remained scoreless and was called after five innings.
The Vineyarders’ first home game is today against Sandwich at 3:30 p.m.
The boys’ tennis team got off on the right foot with an exciting come-from-behind victory, 3-2, over Sandwich last Thursday.
Luke Martin, one of the top USTA ranked players in New England, proved too much for the Vineyard’s co-captain Andrew McHugh, although teammate Reid Yennie played a stellar match for the home team as the Vineyarders’ second singles player, to even the team score at 1-1.
In the other three contests, Sandwich won the first set in each to take what looked like an insurmountable lead. But, in the third singles match, the Vineyarders’ other co-captain Nik Wojtkielo charged back to win sets number two and three (6-4, 6-4) to give the home team a short-lived 2-1 lead.
Over at the number two doubles match, the Vineyarders’ Zach Rabin and Billy Regan captured their second set, but Sandwich prevailed in the third set to even the team score at 2-2.
In the longest match of the day at well-over two hours, it eventually became clear that the number one doubles contest would be the deciding factor for the overall match.
After Sandwich won the first set, the Vineyarders fought back to push the second set into a tiebreaker at 6-6. Neither team could get a significant edge until Sandwich secured a match point at 6 points to 5. But the Vineyarders duo of Win Grimm and Grant McCarthy charged back to win the next three points to win the tiebreaker 8-6, and even the match at a set a piece.
Then, solid overheads and poaching by Grimm, coupled with a strong cross-court forehand by McCarthy proved too much for Sandwich, and the Vineyarders won the third set to give the home team a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
In a rematch on the road on Tuesday, Sandwich returned the favor and defeated the Vineyarders. The Vineyarders won their number two and number three singles matches, as they did last week; but Sandwich’s doubles teams raised their games a notch in a convincing sweep.
Andrew McHugh played an excellent match at number one singles, but was unable to overcome Luke Martin, who won in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).
The Vineyarders next play today against Bourne.