The Roselle Park girls’ tennis team improved its overall and league records this season and next year will return five of its top seven players.
The Panthers, guided by head coach Nancy Sturcke since 1977, finished 11-7 overall and 7-5 and in third place in the Mountain Division of the Union County Conference.
Last year’s squad sported records of 7-9 overall and 2-8 in the Mountain Division – two division matches could not be played – in a season that was cut short by Hurricane Sandy.
“It’s always nice to see some improvement,” said Sturcke, who will make 2014 her 38th season at the helm of the Panthers.
New Providence repeated as Mountain Division champions this year, with Cranford finishing second.
Here’s a look at how the Roselle Park players performed this season:
First singles: Niti Shah, junior – “Niti won a third of her matches,” Sturcke said. “She’s a smart player and improves with every match.”
Second singles: Katarina DiLillo, senior – “Like Niti, Katarina also faced very strong competition,” Sturcke said. “She plays an all-court game, is good at the net and is also good at the baseline.”
Third singles: Jasmin Brown, junior – “A three-sport athlete who also plays basketball and softball, Jasmin is quick and strong,” Sturcke said. “She’s a very fine competitor.” Brown finished with a 12-7 record.
First doubles: Tiffany Hunter, junior and Vanessa Vogler, junior – “Tiffany was 12-6 and is an outstanding competitor and a smart doubles player,” Sturcke said. “Vanessa was very steady and didn’t make many mistakes. She finished 10-5.”
Hunter and Vogler earned All-Mountain Division Honorable Mention honors.
Second doubles: Muriel Olazo, junior and Michelle Henriques, junior – “Both finished with 12-7 records,” Sturcke said. “Muriel is quick and has very fine footwork and Michelle has very good form on her shots.”
Sub-varsity players included juniors Nicole Sychowicz, Jamie Buli, Colleen Sweeney and Noel Cheng; sophomore Jenn Hahn and freshmen Casey Brown and Morgan Literate.
UNION COUNTY CONFERENCE
Team champion: Kent Place
First singles: Mimi MacCowatt, Kent Place
Second singles: Audrey Randazzo, Oak Knoll
Third singles: Ana Santayo, Oak Knoll
First doubles: Julia Criscuolo and Julia Morgan,
Second doubles: Kaitlin Schroeder and Nicole
Baiocco, Oak Knoll
First singles: Connie Wu, Westfield
Second singles: Caroline King, Westfield
Third singles: Isabelle Donatelli, Kent Place
First doubles: Nisha Sambamurthy and Ellie
Falivene, Kent Place
Second doubles: Olivia Cornish and Radhika
Siva, Kent Place
Natalie Kwan, Kent Place,
Alyssa Lopes, Gov. Livingston,
Rebecca Sisto, Westfield
Ali Baiocco and Jackie Grieco, Oak Knoll
Carly Leiter and Caroline Sayre, Summit
Team champion: New Providence
First singles: Sreesha Venkat, New Providence
Second singles: Samantha Midwinter,
Third singles: Kerry Wischusen, Cranford
First doubles: Anavi Anand and Ana Trajanovic,
Second doubles: Kelsey Turner and Jillian
Turner, New Providence
First singles: Mona Elsaai, Elizabeth
Second singles: Kayla Flores, Elizabeth;
Sasha Korn, Union
Third singles: Alexandra Maglaras,
First doubles: AnnaLee Gallo and Marissa
Second doubles: Jen Schneider and Annie
Anima Anwar, Plainfield
Lara Gramatica, Union
Laura Van Horn, Cranford
Kelly Vena, Johnson
Tiffany Hunter and Vanessa Vogler,
Emily Sousa and Florencia Medina, Elizabeth
Team champion: Linden
For Linden, Joanna Zalewski won her second UCT first singles title, while
teammate Olivia Podsiebierski captured her first UCT second singles crown.
First singles: Joanna Zalewski, Linden
Second singles: Olivia Podsiebierski, Linden
Third singles: Maya Jacobs, Linden
First doubles: Tiffany Rivera and Aliyah Shell,
Second doubles: Indy Florencio and Kara
First singles: Sophie Bischoff, Dayton
Second singles: Neli Vorobyov, Dayton
Third singles: Diany Caba, Rahway
First doubles: Rachel Engel and Anabel
Second doubles: Destiny Martins and Mariana
Kaderha Baker, Roselle
Valerie Huezo, Rahway
McKayla Muller, Union Catholic