N.J. -- According to Marc Vecchiolla, head coach for women's
tennis since 1997, the season just ended was one of his best
coaching experiences ever - and the team didn't win a match.
"These women, some of whom were beginners at tennis,
showed a tremendous amount of progress in the course of the
season and had as much fun as any team I can remember,"
he said. "They all had wonderful attitudes. I took just
as much joy coaching this team as I have national champions."
(The MCCC women's tennis program has won four national titles
recalls that the roster was uncertain at the start of the
school year. "I didn't even know if we would have a team."
And then along came this unexpected group of highly motivated
athletes who truly cared about improving their games - with
less emphasis on winning. Vecchiolla reports that at the start
of the season, they were losing matches by large margins.
By the end, the margins had lessened significantly. "And
there was no pouting with this group," Vecchiolla maintains.
Courtney, in the no. 1 spot, faced the toughest challenge
by playing the region's best competition. "She improved
tremendously by playing no. 1," Vecchiolla notes, already
anticipating that next year she will meet with far greater
success. Rachel Young, at the no. 5 position, was the "quintessential
team player," combining a positive outlook with the drive
to return every ball.
regular season record of 0-6, the women finished fourth at
the Region 19 tournament, which was held at Gloucester County
College Oct. 15-17. One late addition to the roster, Alison
Noll, added excitement at the tail end of the season as the
Region 19 winner at no. 1 singles.
to Courtney, Young and Noll, other team members included Melanie
Hunter, Victoria DeBlasio, Terelle Womble, Alicia Monticchio
and Elvira Turganova.
and players are clearly hooked. Vecchiolla has announced that
he is adding a spring season for this squad, to run concurrently
with the men's tennis season. ""With a couple more
months of training, they will be even better. They are up
for it. The only pouting came when the season ended,"
members of this year's team planning to return in 2011, and
the addition of some new players, "we could well be at
the top of the heap next year," he predicts.
was assisted by Barb Pleva and Ralph Bencivengo.