Hornets Nest


Girls Tennis

The Lady Hornets faced a tall order this week with matches against both Division 3 Newburyport and Division 4 Hamilton Wenham.  They also had an important match against Marblehead, also a Division 3 school.

Against Newburyport a three-set win (2-6, 6-4, 6-4) by Vanessa Gregory and strong doubles play by our #1 doubles wasn't quite enough in a 4-1 loss to Newburyport.  A two-set win, (7-5, 6-2) by Vanessa Gregory and wins at #1 doubles Parker Brooks and Gracie Susko (7-5, 6-4) and #2 Doubles Sienna and Grayson Crocker (6-2, 6-3) propelled the Lady Hornets to an impressive 3-2 victory over Division 3 Marblehead. The Hornets are still on track for a tournament berth with matches this week against Lynnfield and Amesbury. The team currently has a power ranking of 5 (as of May 23) in Division 4 in a possible bracket of 32 teams heading to the state tournament.  Final rankings will come at the conclusion of the season when the tournament brackets will be determined. 

Boys Tennis

The Manchester Essex boys’ tennis team had an impressive week with wins over Marblehead, Hamilton Wenham and Newburyport leaving a league championship within their control by the end of it all.  The Marblehead match was an amazing high school tennis team win for the boys.  Jack Cummins got the ball rolling at second singles with a straight set win over his opponent, while Roemer de Widt at third singles and an undefeated on the season John Pope at first singles both had commanding first set wins.  With the strong doubles of Marblehead, the win would have to come from the singles positions, but with de Widt down 0-4 in the second, things did not look promising for a bit.  John Pope was also facing a solid player who was able to break him to put the second set back on serve.  Almost simultaneously, Roemer turned the whole second set around to force a second set tiebreak which he won 7-4 while John broke his opponent and served out the match for the 3-2 win.  On Friday the boys had the match of the season against Hamilton Wenham.  After having lost 2-3 to the Generals without their third singles player Roemer de Widt earlier in the season, the Hornets were looking for revenge with a full lineup.  Pope, de Widt and the second doubles tandem of Charlie Virden and Nick MacFarland came up with the three points needed for the win and a league title within their control.  On a rare Saturday match the boys traveled to Newburyport and won 4-1 to finish out the week 3-0.  The Hornets take on Lynnfield, North Reading and Pentucket during the last week of the season as they get ready for the state tournament.  The team currently has a power ranking of four with a record of 12-2 (as of May 23) in Division 4 in a possible bracket of 32 teams heading to the state tournament.  Final rankings will come at the conclusion of the season when the tournament brackets will be determined. 

Boys Lacrosse

The Hornets travelled to Amesbury High School on May 16 for another CAL game.  Due to a minor weather delay the team came off the bus ready to play.  The Hornets were in control of the game from the outset.  Juniors Alex Fraser, Cam Hubbard, Jesse Oliver, Jack Crompton, Danny Wood and Brennan Twombly all scored while Sophomores Mac Edgerton, Quinn Brady and Henry Thurlow all amassed points in the total team effort.  Junior Jack DiPasquale had five saves on six shots on goal, while the defense was led by Senior Andrew Amigo and Juniors Sam Athanas, Brennan Twombly and Mark Pollock.  Amigo also scored his first goal of the season.  The team hosted the Ipswich HS Tigers on May 20 under the lights at Hyland Field and honored the teams four seniors in a pre-game ceremony.  The Tigers scored first in the opening minutes, the Hornets responded with three unanswered goals from Ben DiFluri, Quinn Brady and Mac Edgerton.  Both teams would exchange first half possessions and a strong Hornet defense allowed Ipswich only one goal in the first half. Senior Hayden Brady made 13 saves in the opening half, absolutely helping the Hornets retain offensive possession for most of the first half.  Ipswich scored early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 3-2.  Junior Doug Pratt and Sophomore Henry Thurlow responded for the Hornets to take a 5-3 lead late into the third quarter.  Just before the third quarter ended the Tigers scored two to tie it up 5-5.  With six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the game still 5-5, unforced turnovers on the offensive side of the ball would hurt the Hornets chances of scoring again and the visitors cashed in on two straight goals in 15 seconds to take the lead 7-5.  The visitors scored one more time to secure the win 8-5.  The Hornets record sits at 5-9 with a game remaining with Peabody and Gloucester.  As of May 23, the team is sitting in the 21st position in a possible seeding of 32 teams from across the state.  Final rankings will come at the conclusion of the season when the tournament brackets will be determined.


The Hornets hosted Lynnfield High School on Thursday, May 19 at Memorial Park in Essex.  Senior pitcher Ryan Andrews threw 6 2/3 innings to secure the win 5-4.  He let up zero earned runs while striking out six.  Senior AJ Pallazola went 2-2 with an RBI and a run scored.  Junior Henry Otterbein contributed with two hits.  The Hornets senior game was held on Saturday, May 21, and after a ceremony complete with the National Anthem played on the saxophone by senior parent Jeff Rubin and the appearance of lots of little leaguers, the game got underway.  Senior Vaughn O’Leary went 5 2/3 innings striking out nine batters to get the win.  AJ Pallazola was 3-3 with two doubles and an RBI.  Zak Porat and Ryan Andrews each adding two RBI’s.  The Hornets travelled to Bishop Fenwick on Sunday, May 22 to take on the Crusaders.  Freshman Nick Brown took the mound and completed five great inning letting up just three earned runs.  Vaughn O’Leary was 3-4 with a double.  Zak Porat had two RBI’s and Mike Deoreo contributed two hits in a close contest going to the host Fenwick 4-3. The Hornets have two remaining games with Georgetown and Ipswich.  As of May 23, the team is sitting in the fifth position in a possible seeding of 32 teams in Division 4 from across the state with a 9-8 record.  Final rankings will come at the conclusion of the season when the tournament brackets will be determined. 

hornets nest, ben difluri, andrew amigo, jesse oliver, jack crompton, alex fraser, hamilton wenham, mac edgerton, john pope, charlie virden, danny wood