Finish Line

Photo By Robin Weinstein

The Tennis team finished their fall and spring seasons with a 13-4 overall record, winning key matches in the process.

The Lady Hawks had a strong fall season, going 8-2, but lost in the SUNYAC Tournament finals to SUNY Geneseo. The team handed Geneseo their first conference loss in seven years during the regular season.

The team kept rolling once the spring season began, obtaining a 5-2 record.  The season ended on a high note with fourth-year players Montana Wilson and Captain Kayla DiPaulo winning the top flight of the 2013 New Paltz Women’s Tennis Tournament.

Head Coach Rob Bruley said from top to bottom, this year’s team was one of the best teams he has coached during his tenure, despite not winning a championship.

“This was one of the strongest teams we’ve ever put together and unfortunately we didn’t win anything,” Bruley said.  “Every single player, every athlete on the team performed to their capabilities.”

DiPaulo said she is proud of the effort the team displayed this season on the court and in the gym.

“I think we played really great as a team this season,” DiPaulo said.  “I think our team has proven that we’ve put in a lot of time and effort into practicing and improving for the following year. Everyone is not only improving tennis wise, but with their physical fitness as well, which is a really important aspect to winning matches.”

Bruley praised DiPaulo, the team’s captain, for both her leadership and playing ability.

“Kayla was absolutely outstanding, a great leader,” Bruley said. “I would have had her as a captain her freshman year.  She broke the all-time wins record for the college. [She was] just a real true leader that everyone would love on their varsity teams.”

Third-year player Paige Munroe said she is proud of how the entire team showed strong effort, a trait that was not limited to the top players.

“Not once this spring season did we get blown off the court,” Munroe said.  “I also saw the bottom end of our line up really support the team a couple of times as well, and pull out some big wins when we needed them, which made us so successful this season.”

Reflecting on her four-year career, DiPaulo is going to miss the relationships she fostered with her teammates, she said.

“I’m going to miss the team bond that I’ve had with so many girls over the years,” DiPaulo said.  “I’m also going to miss having someone telling me when to workout, and will now have to leave that completely up to myself as a motivator.”

Bruley said he will miss fourth-year players DiPaulo, Wilson and Alli Esposito and the presence and knowledge they brought to the team. It will be difficult to replace them, both on and off the court, he said.

“They know how to win,” Bruley said. “They’ve put some tremendous wins together among the three of them.  They’re going to be tough to replace, as always.”

Reflecting on the season, Bruley said he thoroughly enjoyed watching every player work to become better.

“The highlight, I think for me, was the work commitment of every single person,” Bruley said.  “It was a pleasure really to be a part of this year.”

While this season is just ending, Munroe said she is already looking forward to stepping into a leadership role next season.

“Being a senior, it is finally my time to look out for my younger teammates, and to help them increase their confidence on the court,” Munroe said.  “I would love to end my senior year with some big wins of course.”

Bruley is on the same page as Munroe, as he has one major goal in mind for next season.

“Next year we’re going all-out for that conference championship,” he said.