The Green Wave didn’t expect to reach the state finals undefeated, but they did. They didn’t know that they’d only drop seven out of 103 total matches through the regional championship, where they demolished former champs Windermere Prep. They went on to sweep the district tournament, winning all seven matches, and they pulled off one of Father Lopez’s most successful tennis seasons in its program’s history.
Father Lopez didn’t have the state run they were hoping for, as all but one player lost in the first, second or semifinals round, including both doubles teams.
Although the Green Wave will be losing some of their top players, such as Mike Munier and Zach Pifer, along with Tyler Turnbull, Kevin Fountain and Jacob Attia to graduation, coach Jane Fountain believes the best from her bunch is yet to come.
“Our guys are tournament players, so they’re only going to get better,” Fountain said. “These guys play year-round, so I expect this team be stronger next season.”
Top players Will Greaves and Dane Hawthorne will both be returning next year, along with Connor Sikorski, the only player to reach the final, which he finished as the runner-up, and his brother, Caden Sikorski, an eighth grader that will be playing for Lopez next season.
This past season, the Green Wave had their sights set on avenging last year’s district loss to Windermere Prep. Next year, their focus will be on, not only getting to the state finals, but winning championships.
As I watched Sikorski walk off the court after losing his championship match, I saw the anger and disappointment in his face. I walked up and reminded him of his team’s attitude toward Windermere, and I told him that he needed to play with that mentality going forward, until he made it back to states. He quickly agreed. But, he’s not the only one that walked off the court disappointed in defeat. The rest of the team did as well. Now, with a taste of what the state finals feels like, you can expect a hunger for more.