By DENISE SEYFER
On Oct. 3, Mount Mary University’s tennis team broke the school’s record for most wins in a season, 6-5. This year’s tennis team became the only sports team in Mount Mary’s history to have an above-500 season. The Blue Angels tennis team aced themselves to victory despite the haunting memories of their 2-9 season last year and their 0-11 season of 2011.
The reasons for the team’s success were achieved through the team’s continued hard work, practice and commitment throughout the season.
Tom Troast, Mount Mary tennis coach, attributed part of his team’s successes to his returning seniors, Kat Reynoso, Briana Lock and Katie Wolk.
“They’ve brought a new culture to our team that focuses on commitment,” Troast said.
Ana Mercado and Andrea Monacelli, two Mount Mary freshmen, have also provided significant depth to the team in doubles play and in singles matches. Both women had critical wins for the Blue Angels.
In the team’s season opener against Concordia University on Sept. 6, Ana Mercado fought to win her singles match, 6-2, 6-2 over Falcons singles player, Emma Renteria.
Similarly, Andrea Monacelli won her sets, 6-3, 6-1 in the Blue Angel’s home opener against Lakeland College’s Jenna Oberthaler on Sept. 9. However, despite the wins, the Blue Angels lost the match.
Troast listed the girls’ efforts and determination to win as critical pieces of their success.
“It’s always a welcome surprise when you have freshmen who can step in and play, then develop quickly during the season and make huge contributions,” Troast said.
Athletic Director Marc Heidorf acknowledged the three years Coach Troast has devoted to the tennis program and the team as an integral part of its improvement.
“Coach Troast puts the women in a position to succeed [by pairing up] who works well on the court with each other,” Heidorf said.
Mount Mary tennis players Kat Reynoso, a senior, and sophomore Krista Olson cited additional ingredients that helped the team play strong and win.
“When we lose a point, we pick each other up,” Reynoso said. “What we struggled with [in a game], we practiced extensively.”
Friendships off the court added the extra boost.
“We’re friends,” Olson said. “We cheer each other on throughout the season. We work together practicing more. We talk about what to improve on.”
As the season closed, the team wished for continued growth and wins next season.