Wednesday afternoon was a special one at the Amsterdam High School tennis courts. On the court, the Lady Rams defeated Greenwich 7-0 wrapping up an unbeaten first season in the Foothills Council. Before the match, Amsterdam recognized nine seniors for their accomplishments and commitment to the game..
Kristie Kaczmarek, Ella Dybas, Audrey Flint, Caitlin Gannon, Arizona Santiago, Tessa Filiberto, Maddie Janetsky, Kacie McGillin, and McKennna Palczak will always be the seniors of a team that helped lead the way in the schools transition from the Big 10 league to the Foothills Council. Their dedication and hard work helped the AHS tennis team win the school’s first title in a new league.
“The girls worked so hard,” said AHS coach Maura Dargush. “We’re different in that our girls are playing year round. Some are playing as soon as it’s nice outside. They wanted it.”
Kaczmarek, Dybas, Flint, Gannon and Santiago all earned victories in singles play. Santiago’s 6-2, 6-4 win over Alex O’Brien at number five singles on a cloudy day that left no need for sunglasses was the toughest match of the day. Santiago’s mobility was the difference maker.
“Arizona joined us two years ago,” Dargush said. “ She doesn’t have the prettiest ground strokes but this girl can get to any shot on the court. She hustles. There’s no ball she can’t get to.”
As Santiago finished her match, her fellow senior Tessa Filiberto was leading the way at number one doubles with teammate Gabby Disalvi in their 6-0, 6-1 win over Laura Stasswimmer and Caitlin Robertson. Filiberto has played both singles and doubles this season for AHS and it’s her leadership that has been important to the development of the younger players who inherit the teams future.
“She’s an amazing doubles player,” Dargush said. “She’s really been a leader at doubles helping show the younger ones how it’s done. Tessa has figured out the strategy of playing doubles. She’s found her niche.”
Molly Monge and Prabha Singh were also winners at doubles topping Emily Wright 6-1, 6-0. At singles, Kaczmarek bested Amanda Thomas 6-1, 6-0 , Flint defeated Lauren Moliner 6-2, 6-1, Dybas won at number two singles 6-3, 6-1 over Casey Hunter to keep her unbeaten singles season intact. Her teammate Caitlin Gannon also remained perfect in singles play with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Alexis Curley. Gannon, who plays varsity basketball and coaches her younger sisters’ recreation league team has been steadfast in her dedication on the tennis court.
“She’s always giving one hundred percent in matches and practice,” Dargush said. “Caitlin has good mental stability on the court. She doesn’t get emotional if she makes a mistake. She brushes it off and she’s ready for the next point.”
The Lady Rams are ready for their next opponent. Suburban Council power Averil Park visits Amsterdam on Monday at 4pm. The Lady Rams currently await word on their opponent in the first round of sectionals.
(Photos by Scott Mulford)