Women’s Tennis Team has solidified a national
dynasty, winning its fourth NJCAA title in eight years in Tucson,
AZ, May 7-13. (The last national title was in 2002.) “It
was a dream week,” Head Coach Marc Vecchiolla said. Five
of his players were named All-Americans and Vecchiolla was inducted
into the NJCAA Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame during a special ceremony.
Going into the tournament,
the Vikings knew they had a distinct advantage: all of Mercer’s
players were strong, not just the top flights. “There was
very little difference between our no. 1 and our no. 6,”
Vecchiolla said. So, on Day 3, when Mercer was in fifth place,
the team was still confident. Mercer proceeded to win all eight
matches that day against their strongest competitor, Broome CC
(NY), and never looked back. Their final point total was 32-1/2;
Broome earned 23.
While Mercer earned
a number of points in the no. 1, 2, and 3 spots, they cleaned
up at 4, 5 and 6, winning the final in each. “Most teams
have a great no. 1,” Vechhiolla said. “We had strong
players in every position.” No. 4 Krystle Duay, no. 5 Rachel
Hendrickson, and no. 6 Siobhan Cahill won titles in their singles
flights, while no. 3 Natalia Dabrowska (no. 3) took second. Duay
and Hendrickson partnered to win third doubles, and Silvina Wills
partnered with Dabrowska to earn third place at second doubles.
of the team were named All-Americans: Duay, Hendrickson, Cahill,
Dabrowska and Wills. Other team members were no. 1 Caitlin Bagdonas,
a consolation finalist, and Monica Nichols.
row, l. to r.: Asst. Coach Ralph Bencivengo, Natalia Dabrowska,
Rachel Hendrickson, Siobhan Cahill, Caitlin Bagdonas,
Head Coach Marc Vecchiolla and Asst. Coach Barb Pleva;
front row, l. to r., Monica Nichols, Krystle Duay and Silvina