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Young Tennis Team Hopes to Serve Up Victories

   Although the days are just starting to feel a little spring-like, the Mount Mercy tennis team has been practicing for four weeks in preparation for its season opening match on April 4th against Nardin.  The team has a good mix of athletes returning to the team, as well as a few newcomers, as well as a new coach.

    Matt Ondesko, a former two-time All-Catholic champion while at Bishop Timon, is the Magic’s first year coach.  Ondesko’s thirty years of playing competitive tennis will definitely be an asset for the team. “It has been an enjoyable experience so far,“ Ondesko commented.  “The team comes to practice every day wanting to get better and that is all I ask for.”

    Ondesko believes that the team’s depth will be an asset this season.  “Our depth is a key strength this season. We have ten very talented young ladies who can play both doubles and singles. It has made for some tough decisions on where to play them when we open the season against Nardin.

    Senior Breanna Sikora (Buffalo) returns to the courts for her fourth season.  She has worked from a doubles position to one of the team’s top singles competitor.  Juniors Lily Kasperek (Forestville), Emily Howard (Buffalo) and Megan Jobson (Orchard Park) and sophomore Claire Mullen (Orchard Park) return to the team for the second year.  Ondesko expects big things from the returners, as well as newcomers to the team, juniors Allysyn Pajek (West Seneca) and Evelyn Nowak (Orchard Park). He has been pleased by the play of these six athletes, as well as the improvement shown by the other three new team members.  Preparing to take to the courts for their first seasons are juniors Jessica Shaw (Buffalo), Hannah Dierolf (West Seneca) and freshman Marisa Kurucz (West Seneca).

    Nardin and Sacred Heart are the team’s that Ondesko expects to be the team’s toughest opponents this season.  “I believe we can compete with both those schools, along with Mt. St. Mary, Buffalo Seminary and St. Mary’s of Lancaster. The league will be competitive from top to bottom.” Ondesko remarked.

    Ondesko hopes to instill confidence in his athletes. “Early on the team was lacking the confidence that they could win matches. But, as practice has gone, they are building that confidence and they are starting to believe that they can beat anyone in the Monsignor Martin League.” The coach stated.

    Improvement is  what the coach most expects from his team. “To improve each and every time we step on the court is my expectation. Wins are always fun and we all want to win our fair share of matches. But, if the team improves every match and every practice then I truly believe that the wins will follow,” Ondesko concluded.


 

"Mount Mercy has taught me some of the most important things in my life and I am so grateful for that. I know that incorporating the principles of a woman of Mercy has made me the best version of myself. I can only hope that in the future, I will continue to grow and teach others the valuable lessons that I was taught at Mount Mercy. While I have learned so many things here, the greatest thing by far that I have learned is that DNA does not always make a family, love makes a family and that is exactly what I have gained here, a second family."

Mariah Rullan

Class of 2019

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