Hamza Shad ’13
Out on the courts for hours a day, the boys’ tennis teams have been showing a tremendous effort to play as well as they can and to improve throughout the season. Both the junior varsity and varsity sections have been outperforming their records from last year, which shows the progress that the teams have made.
The JV team has had a strong season so far, with a record of 7-6 and notable wins against Morristown Beard and Kittatinny Regional. This past weekend, they participated in Delbarton’s private JV Tournament against three of the best teams in the state. With many drills and conditioning exercises during practices, the players have been working hard to further develop their skills and strategy. An ’04 MLHS graduate who played on the varsity tennis team for four years, Matt Gottilla, became the JV team’s coach this year. He has enjoyed the experience, saying, “we have played an extremely competitive schedule and it has been very rewarding seeing how much everyone has improved over the course of the season.”
Playing in several tournaments in addition to their regular matches, the varsity team has had a hectic season. Their current record is 16-2, and they were undefeated in the Liberty Division conference, earning the title of conference champs. Coach Ginny O’Donnell says that in her twelve years of coaching the team, this is only the second time that they have been invited to the Delbarton Tournament, which is considered very prestigious. According to her, the team’s success has been due to unity and hard work, as well as “their loyalty, sportsmanship, and work ethics.” The highest-level teams of New Jersey were at the tournament, and our team was able to win the consolation tournament over Ramapo. In the Morris County Tournament, the team continued to play well, placing in the top four. Individually, team captain Austin Schiller ’12 has qualified for the singles section of the state championship, and Jeff Hill ’13 and Jackson Whang ’14 have qualified for the doubles section. These competitions will be held in early June. Later this week, the whole team will be playing in the NJ state tournament, for which they have been preparing intensively. Best of luck to the teams in the tournament, and may they continue a great season.