However, Coach Michelle Carrocino knew that better days were on the horizon as she had a strong freshman class. She simply needed time to develop them.
Well, that development occurred and resulted in one of the greatest seasons in school history. The girls tennis team has steadily improved their record since that year, and, at press time, has a record of 13-3.
With a varsity lineup of Madison Lanham, Ashley Jirik, Theresa Reed, Sydney Maroney, Gillian Morganstein, and Zalak Modi, the team has gone to uncharted territory. They earned the fourth seed in the NJSIAA playoffs and won a first round match against Southern, 5-0. They also finished a close second in the Tri-County Royal Division.
“We knew that we would be a good team this season,” said Coach Carrocino. “We had our eyes on the conference title, but unfortunately came up just short.”
Carrocino, herself a former Dragon Award winner and star athlete at Kingsway, knew what it would take to get to a championship level, and she easily stated the reason for their success.
“Plain old hard work and patience,” said Carrocino. “These girls have practiced nonstop over their four years. They were here all summer long. They understood that work in the off-season would make this possible. Each year, we continued to get better and now the girls are seeing the fruits of their labor.”
As for the future, Carrocino has no plans to go back to their former status as a team that inhabited the bottom of the conference standings.
“We want to continue with our winning ways and contend for the conference title every year,” said Carrocino. “The girls have learned that it is fun to win matches. We want to continue to build on this feeling.”
“We are graduating some great seniors, but they have left the blueprint for how to win, and the remaining girls need to follow that plan.”
Sometimes, we have to wait for greatness to grow, but, when it does, it is well worth the wait.
— By Christian Lynch