Starting a new season means playing with a clean scoreboard for the Lady Cav’s women’s tennis team. John Magee, Cabrini’s new coach, helps the team get pumped up to push their PAC title from last season’s second place to this year’s prospected number one.
It’s a full lineup with all returning players from last year, and two freshmen to add dynamic to the team. Cabrini’s team was fortunate enough not to have any graduates on the team last year and this may give them an edge over Marywood. Last year Marywood finished number one in the PAC but lost their two top players who graduated and will not be on the court to defend their title.
“Under the new leadership of Magee, the team seems to gain enthusiasm about the game,” senior captain Jennifer Keller said. Magee comes to Cabrini from Gwenad Mercy College as their assistant women and men’s tennis coach. After being interviewed by players, Leslie Danehy, athletic director, and Jeff Falardeau, assistant athletic director, Magee was appointed the position of women’s tennis head coach. Magee’s first impression of Cabrini’s athletic department was “very professional, and welcoming by Leslie, and other coaches,” coach Magee said. Aside from coaching on a collegiate level, Magee leads the Hatfield Community program, and “Touch of Tennis,” a special needs program for youths. He is also a full-time computer teacher at Wordworth Academy.
Magee has set reachable goals for the team to succeed this season. “First and foremost is to have a good time; develop as players and bond as a team. There is no pressure to win, and it should be rewarding,” coach Magee said. He hopes hard work, and dedication will pay off and allow the Lady Cav’s to be impressive on the courts this fall.
Magee speaks very highly of the team’s captain. “She has great leadership values, and is very talented on the court,” Coach Magee said. Another senior on the team is Patty. She was last year’s number two player, “a staple force on the team,” said Coach Magee. Without Patty it will push everyone up a notch on the roster, allowing a player of low rank to no longer sit the bench. A new lineup would be a challenge to overcome.
Cabrini’s number one singles player, senior captain Keller, set out for a personal goal of improving her doubles from last years 7-7 record. “I hope to make it back to PACs and win the title for number one,” Keller said. “Everyone on the team needs to pick it up during the doubles matches so there is not as much pressure on the singles to win their matches,” Keller said. During the summer Keller prepared for the season in Florida for two months. She competed in several USCA tournaments. Training at high speeds has given her an opportunity to push her skills to the limit.
September 7th was Cabrini’s first conference match of the season defeating Alvernia College.
Cabrini won its three doubles matches decisively. Victoria Nicodemus and Caitlin Scott attributed their success to “staying positive and not getting too serious,” Nicodemus said. Keller won her singles match 6-0.
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