By PRESS TIMES SPORTS
Notre Dame Academy girls’ tennis team’s trip to state was a short one, but it capped a successful season in many ways.
The Tritons, the No. 6 seed in Division 1 in the state tournament, fell 6-1 to No. 3-seeded Divine Savior Holy Angels (DSHA) in the quarterfinals at Nielsen Stadium in Madison on Oct. 21.
“The highlight of our season was making it to state,” Notre Dame coach Sommer May said. “We knew the competition would be tough. Our goal was for everyone to play to their full potential and not focus on the end result.”
May said losing is never fun, it’s all part of the process. She feels it will teach the members to evaluate their weaknesses and figure out what they need to work on.
“We have a young and impressive team,” May said. “Most of them were already back to the courts the day after we returned home from Madison. Even after a tough loss and a long season, they still love the game of tennis and that is what excites me most about being their coach.”
Notre Dame’s No. 3 doubles team of Bea Rayel and Sophie Lin scored the team’s lone victory — a three-setter, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 10-8. The duo finished off an undefeated season playing together.
“DSHA definitely pushed them to play to their full potential, which not many teams have done throughout the season,” May said. “So it was great to see them compete and execute like they did at state. They are consistent and they are mentally strong. In girls’ tennis, consistency and mental
toughness goes a long way and I think that was the key to their victory.”
DSHA was stacked up and down its lineup. The No. 1 doubles tandem took first at state and the team’s top singles player came in sixth.
“The rest of their lineup was equally talented,” May said. “DSHA was great competition for our team. Throughout the season, we only competed against one other team (Madison West) with this level of talent and depth.”
Lucy Lawton fell in her No. 1 singles match, 6-0, 6-0. At No. 2 singles, Sophia Perret lost 6-0, 6-4. Mia Miller was downed 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles and Francesca Casis fell 6-3, 6-1 at fourth singles.
The Tritons (16-3) had their top doubles team of Kennedy May and Lilia Root get beaten 6-0, 6-0. Mary Sullivan and Natalia Welle lost at No. 2 doubles, 6-2, 6-1.
Despite the loss at state, coach May said her team exceeded expectations all season. It ended up being co-Fox River Classic Conference champions, sectional champs, qualified five individuals to the state meet and had all 10 players of its varsity lineup named first-team all-conference.
By PRESS TIMES SPORTS