NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA-- It has been quite the season for the Episcopal Academy tennis team. The Churchwomen secured yet another Inter-Ac League Championship and went undefeated in the league with a final record of 12-0.
“I think our teamwork is what attributed to our winning the Inter-Ac,” said senior co-captain and 3rd doubles player Riya Mukherjee. “Every year we start over fresh. Each year, our teammates all come together and rise to the occasion.”
The program has a very successful history. This marks the fifth consecutive year as well as the 17th time in the last two decades that Episcopal Academy (EA) held sole possession of the league trophy or shared it with another team in a tie for the title. EA secured the 2022 league title after defeating Academy of Notre Dame, 6-1, on Tuesday, October 25th.
“We’ve had a lot of adversity both on and off the court,” said head coach Whitaker Powell. “The girls showed up when it was time to play every single time. When they stepped inside the court, they were ready to go.”
The coaching staff continues to have a positive impact, too. In addition to the squad’s stellar play, Powell reached a milestone by coaching his 300th career match at EA this year. This was his 23rd season at EA. After today's match against AIS, Powell now has a total of 302 matches at the helm.
Episcopal Academy - 2022 Inter-Ac Champions - PSD Photo by Colleen Claggett
Episcopal Academy head coach Whitaker Powell - PSD Photo by Colleen Claggett
“Good kids that buy into a team atmosphere," said Powell when asked what led to his team's successful season.
"Tennis is an individual sport, but when you buy into being part of a team that leads to success. But ultimately, we have good kids and good kids tend to have good results," said Powell.
In keeping with a longtime tradition, EA hosted the Agnes Irwin School Owls (AIS) in the regular season finale Thursday, November 10. This match was part of the annual EA/AIS/ Day which consists of a day of friendly athletic competition in tennis, field hockey, soccer and cross country. The day ends with the coveted Banner going to the school that secures the most victories in the four sporting events.
“I love it,” said Agnes Irwin senior co-captain and first doubles player Lili Halpert. “Everyone comes together and just cheers everyone on. It’s a great tradition.”
The Churchwomen claimed the first win of the weekend competitions with a 7-0 victory against the Owls.
Senior co-captain and 2nd doubles player Maggie Lo lauded her teams strengths for their outstanding season.
“We have a really deep team which means that not only is our first singles amazing, but like all through our doubles we’re able to stay consistent and aggressive at the same time and we all play tennis outside of school which is helpful," said Lo.
Agnes Irwin knew it would have its work cut out for them going into this match. Nevertheless, the Owls did not give up and played each set with a competitive fight.
“It inspired me more,” said AIS senior co-captain and 2nd singles player Nina Kirkpatrick. “It made me think I would just go out and play my best. You have nothing to lose when you’re playing a team that’s undefeated.”
EA hopes to keep up the great work going in to the 2023 season. There will be some shoes to fill with five seniors graduating: Maggie Dugery, Elizabeth Boruff, Amelia Wandrasch, Lo, and Mukherjee.
Mukherjee, offered some sound guidance to her team for next season.
“My advice would be to continue to keep friendship above competition,” said Mukherjee. “If you have the collaborativeness first and then build off of that in creating a great season then everything works out great.”
This win contributed to the Churchwomen's 3-1 overall girls' victories during the EA/AIS day of competitions earning EA the Banner rights for another year.
THE 2022 EPISCOPAL ACADEMY GIRLS VARSITY TENNIS TEAM
Sr. Elizabeth Boruff - 2nd doubles
Sr. Maggie Dugery - 1st doubles
Sr. Maggie Lo(c) - 2nd doubles
Sr. Riya Mukherjee(c) - 3rd doubles
Sr. Amelia Wondrasch - 4th doubles
Jr. Velina Feuzeu - 4th doubles
Jr. Kamora Helton - 1st singles
Jr. Michelle Jiang - 3rd doubles
Jr. Shelby Pasternack - 4th doubles
Jr. Izabel Rozes - 1st doubles
Soph. Carter Yearley - 3rd singles
Fr. Avery Morris - 2nd singles
THE 2022 AGNES IRWIN VARSITY TENNIS TEAM
Sr. Kathryn Chang, 3rd singles,
Sr. Alexandra Cooley, 4th doubles,
Sr. Hunter Fleitas, 3rd doubles,
Sr. Alixandra Fleming, 4th doubles,
Sr. Elizabeth Halpert (c), 1st doubles,
Sr. Nina Kirkpatrick (c), 2nd singles,
Sr. Eloise O'Grady, 3rd doubles,
Jr. Olivia Daniels, 4th doubles,
Jr. Addison Dash, 2nd doubles,
Jr. Emery Holleran, 4th doubles,
Jr. Ella Springer, 2nd doubles,
Jr. Amy Walsh, 1st singles,
Soph. Gabrielle Seibert, 1st doubles,