S. MICHAEL HUTCHESON
The Lady Barons tennis team recently won its championship game against Mount Aloysius College, giving the team an 8-0 season record for its conference games and an impressive 14-1 record overall. The ladies had a phenomenal season, demonstrating their growth both on and off the court.
“This is probably one of the most rewarding seasons that I’ve ever spent coaching,” said head coach Scott Greve. “Watching the ladies grow in their relationships with each other and most of all their relationships with Jesus has been an outstanding opportunity to me.”
Greve has also spent much time working with the ladies on their technical skills, which they have used to great effect throughout the season. “Watching them … translate it into results on the court has been extremely satisfying,” said Greve.
The Lady Barons began the season with a bang, winning match after match, carrying an 11-match winning streak throughout most of the season, nine of those matches being 9-0 blowouts. The ladies took their opponents by storm, consistently winning games 6-0. It was clear even early on in the season that Franciscan was in a good place to take the championship.
Towards the end of the season, the Lady Barons played a game to decision against Indiana-East, a team from a higher division. After a fierce struggle, the Franciscan ladies fell 0-5, but in the process they learned a great deal and continued to grow as a team.
“We play that kind of competition because that’s what makes us better,” said Greve. As head coach, he teaches the girls to learn from their mistakes and improve.
“That’s known as a ‘growth mindset,’” said team chaplain Brother Daniel Maria Klimek, TOR. “Even in that game where it was a loss, it was a wonderful window into how Coach Scott trains these ladies with a mindset that will help them far in life beyond the tennis court.”
After the game against Indiana-East, Franciscan went on to win its next game, as well as the semifinal, before moving on to the championship game.
The season came to its climax with the championship game against Mount Aloysius. Tensions were high during the doubles portion of the match, as the Mount Aloysius girls gave the Lady Barons a run for their money. Junior Madelyn Conrad and senior Maria Binette held the line in the tough No. 1 doubles game, winning 8-5. Seniors Julia Razook and Taranee Karimpour also defended their point in an 8-6 No. 2 doubles game. However, in the No. 3 doubles game, sophomore Anna Victoria Haddad Garcia and junior Grace Hammel fell to the opposition, 6-8.
Despite this initial setback however, the Lady Barons rallied and demonstrated their strength by dominating in the singles portion, taking the entire match 5-1, and earning for themselves another championship.
Greve was very pleased with the girl’s comeback during the championship match: “It was the first time that we had dropped a doubles match all season long. To see somebody start with a loss and then turn around and completely play the type of tennis that they’re able to play, that was just a phenomenal match.”
Klimek also had praise for the Lady Barons’ determination. “There was an extra effort, and a strong will and a strong character was conveyed on the court when they realized that they have a real challenge in front of them,” he said. “… it showed how they earned their championship; it wasn’t given to them.”
For now, the Lady Barons are preparing to play again in the spring, as they’ve been seeded to the NCAA tournament. Based on the ladies’ performance during this season, Greve is happy with his team’s chances. “I have high hopes for the spring,” he said. The Lady Barons will break for the remainder of the fall semester before preparing to play in the national tournament next year.