Fourth-years Montana Wilson and Kayla DiPaulo won the top flight bracket of the 2013 New Paltz Women’s Tennis Tournament on April 27, marking the end of their 2012-13 season as well as the final match of their careers at New Paltz.
The tournament was solely comprised of doubles matches, which consisted of three flights with two brackets each. Other competing schools at the tournament included SUNY Cortland, Hunter College, Mount Saint Mary College and SUNY Plattsburgh. Wilson and DiPaulo won the tournament after playing against fellow teammates third-year Paige Munroe and second-year Devin Tracy.
The Lady Hawks finished their season with a record of 13-4, and on May 2, returned to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III Women’s Northeast rankings tied for the No. 20 spot with Ithaca College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
For Wilson, winning the tournament validated her commitment to improving, she said.
“Winning the tournament was just a great way to close out the season with a big exciting win,” Wilson said. “My partner Kayla DiPaulo and I worked extra hard all season to improve our doubles game throughout practice in fall preseason so we could make a name for ourselves for our senior year.”
DiPaulo maintains that winning the tournament was also a perfect way to end her season, even if it meant playing against teammates, which she believes added to the experience.
“Winning the tournament and playing a relaxed match against my teammates was an amazing way to end my tennis career,” DiPaulo said. “I wanted to win the whole thing to prove to myself that after four years of intense tennis practices, matches, tournaments and hard work that it could pay off one last time. I would not have wanted it to end any differently and am so glad Montana and I could win our last match together.”
Head Coach Rob Bruley said he enjoyed watching the pairs duke it out.
“This match was the most intense match of the day with some excellent points,” Bruley said. “Two seniors wanting to win their last collegiate doubles match and the team looking to replace them next fall wanting to make an early statement. I really enjoyed watching both teams go head to head and really go for it.”
Bruley also believes that both Wilson and DiPaulo will be missed as they are paramount representatives of the college’s tennis program.
“Both have the same drive and desire to perform at the highest level at every match,” Bruley said. “They both have excellent work ethics in practice, always looking for ways to improve and never settling for second best. [I will also miss] the respect they both show for their team, opponents and coaching staff.”
Wilson looks back on her time with the team as an important experience where she has gained invaluable skills and experience — not just on the court, but as a person as well.
“From the four years I have spent on the team, I have gained experience and have learned even lifetime lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my career wherever I end up after school,” Wilson said.
DiPaulo shares a similar view as her teammate in that being on the tennis team has been a character-building experience with important insight gained on being a leader and memories that will last a lifetime.
“I learned how to work with nine other girls successfully while maintaining amazing friendships with most of the people that have been on my team in the past and the present,” DiPaulo said. “I have definitely grown so much as a player from day one I think, and could not have done that without the pushing from my coach to be better than the previous year. And lastly and most importantly, I have gained memories that I will never forget, on and off the court, with my New Paltz Women’s Tennis team.”