By Morgan Kogan, Staff Writer
The tennis team continued to defeat its opponents this season with an overall record of 11-6. Coached by Dana Lenneper, Bob O’Brian and Bob O’Connor, and led by senior co-captains Madison Huber and Kathryn Ortenzio, Lenneper said the girls left everything on the court during each match and always yearned to improve.
The team showcased its talent in the Shore Conference Tournament, where it received a #10 seed and a bye in the first round before losing to Jackson Memorial in the second round. Later in the season, the Monarchs earned a #5 seed of nine teams in the NJSIAA Non-Public B tournament and upset #4 seed Holy Spirit 4-1 to advance to the semi-finals, where they lost to top-ranked Moorestown Friends, 5-0.
“We might not always have the win, but we’re definitely a team that needs to be looked out for. No team comes on the court thinking they will beat us…this year, we [were] a team to be reckoned with,” Lenneper said.
The team surprised opponents on multiple occasions, such as the Monarchs’ 3-2 win against Red Bank Catholic on Sep. 19. Sophomore Lauren Ward also reached the finals in the Wardlaw-Hartridge Tournament, which Lenneper felt was an astounding accomplishment for Ward and the team overall.
As the girls succeeded on the court, they also created unbreakable bonds as teammates and friends. “I loved the sisterhood and sense of support that I got from all the girls,” freshman Haley Nelson said. “When I was playing, my teammates would cheer me on and motivate me, and I did the same for them.”
Ortenzio and Huber, who guided the team with their leadership, ensured that their teammates felt practices and games were a positive environment for everyone.
“Having a team to support you, even though you’re out there alone, is great because you know there is someone standing on the sidelines who is going to help you through it,” Huber said. “I hope that as the program grows and the team continues to improve on the court, the sense of family between teammates remains.”