NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Beneath the shadows of Highpoint Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, the New Providence Girls Tennis team defeated the Highland Park Lady Owls 5-0, claiming their third sectional title in four years.
On their journey to the Central Jersey Group I title, the Lady Pioneers beat the 4th, 1st and 2nd seeded teams, running the gauntlet en route to the championship. Although the section was different this year, the result was a familiar one for the girls, especially those who have been on the team all four years. The other two sectional championships occurred in 2014 and 2016. The journey continues Thursday at Mercer County Park in West Windsor with challenging Group I opponents Kinnelon, Mountain Lakes, and Woodstown as the other teams in contention.
Standout 1st singles senior Kathy Ge was the first off the court with a 6-2, 6-0 win for the Lady Pioneers, getting the team off to a hot start. Fellow senior Stephanie Maluso put the team up 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at 3rd singles.
With the Lady Pioneers only needing one more point to punch their ticket to West Windsor, the 1stdoubles team of Katie Denike and Lauren Kang soon followed with a 6-2, 6-2 win.
The 2nd doubles tandem of Megan April and Miriam Hyde was next off with a 6-2, 6-2 win for a 4-0 lead, with the title already in the bag.
As her teammates all cheered her on 2nd singles star Caroline Maglaras soon put the exclamation point on a 5-0 sweep of the team from Highland Park with a 6-0, 6-3 win. A celebration followed as the girls were thrilled to pose for pictures with their hard-earned trophy and medals.
Head Coach Marc Willemsen and Assistant Coach Tracy Aroneo both commented after the game, saying “how this team has continued to progress as the season went on, especially these past 4 matches that led their team to the Sectional title.”
First year Athletic Director Vincent Carangelo was at the match and was thrilled to get his first sectional crown as the new Pioneer A.D.
“The girls have rallied behind the underdog role since they found out they were the 5th seed,” said Carangelo. “There is a reason they are the defending section and state champs and they were out to prove they were still the team to beat in this section”.