Athletics Hall of Fame Spotlight

Women's Tennis, 2005


One of the two teams entering into the 2024 MCCC Athletic Hall of Fame is the last Mercer team to win a national championship, the 2005 women’s tennis team.  Members of the 2005 women’s tennis team were Caitlin Bagdonas, Siobhan Cahill, Natalia Dabrowska, Krystle Duay, Rachel Hendrickson, Monica Nichols and Silvina Wills.  The Vikings were coached by Marc Vecchiolla, assisted by Barb Pleva and Ralph Bencivengo.


That fall, the Vikings won their eighth straight Region 19 title.  Mercer won with 14 points, eight more than runner-up Brookdale.  At the NJCAA National Championship in the spring, the Vikings had five players named All-Americans as they won their fourth title in eight years.  Women’s tennis regular season and Region Championship were played in the fall and the National Championship was held in the spring of the following year.



In Singles flights, Duay was National Champion at 4th Singles, Hendrickson National Champion at 5th Singles and Cahill National Champion at 6th Singles.  Duay and Hendrickson were also National Champions at 3rd Doubles. 


Dabrowska finished as National Runner-Up at 3rd Singles and Wills and Dabrowska were National Runner Ups at 2nd Doubles.


The Vikings won the NJCAA National Championship in Arizona with 32.5 points, beating Runner-Up Broome CC who finished with 23 points.


Vecchiolla noted that what made this team so special was that “there was little difference between our number 1 and number 6 player.  We had strong players at every position.”


The Vikings had four players named 1st Team All-Region in Singles flights: Dabrowska, Duay, Hendrickson and Cahill and two Doubles teams were All-Region: Wills/Dabrowska at 2nd Doubles and Duay/Hendrickson at 3rd Doubles. 


Dabrowska, Duay, Hendrickson and Cahill were also named 1st Team All-GSAC (Garden State Athletic Conference) and Doubles teams Bagdonas/Cahill, Dabrowska/Wills and Duay/Hendrickson also earned 1st Team All-GSAC honors.  The Vikings went 10-0 in the Region in the fall of 2004.  


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The 2004-05 women's tennis team won MCCC women's tennis 8th straight Region 19 Championship



The 2005 women's tennis team was the last MCCC team to win a National Championship