Tennis Takes Championship


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On Tuesday, October 16, the Verona High School girls tennis team defeated Park Ridge High School to win the North 1, Group 1 state tennis sectionals.

“It is wonderful,” said Coach Patricia Schoenig of the victory, noting that the VHS girls last won a Group 1 title in 2006. “Very few students go through high school able to say that they were group champions in any sport.”

It was a 5-0 victory for Verona over Park Ridge. In first singles, senior Jackie Noyes uncharacteristically dropped her first set to Karolina Golabek 5-7, before rallying 6-4, 6-0 to take the match. In second singles, Ciarra Davison dispatched Deborah Kim 6-1, 6-4. Allie Vaccaro, a sophomore, took on Kat Chemakin in third singles and took her sets 7-6, 7-5.

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The doubles teams were equally strong. Caroline Chivily/Briana Tedesco defeated Jessica Ellingsen/Emily Hernandez 6-0, 6-0, while Angelica Bryan/Nell Karpinski topped Samar Aldabbas/Sophie Hassell 6-3, 6-2.

Schoenig noted that Group 1 schools in Essex County have many powerful teams–Newark Academy, Millburn, Livingston and MKA–where students have been involved in tennis for a very long time. That’s not typically the case in Verona. Noyes, for example, was a soccer player before finally embracing tennis. “Our initial goal was to do well when we were competing with our peers and get to sectionals”, said Schoenig of her young team, which includes only three seniors. “They were getting better and better as the weeks went on and I did think that we could be in the finals.”

And still, she was cautious: “Park Ridge was an undefeated team going into the match and we really didn’t know where their talent was,” Schoenig added. “I am really proud of the entire group for the win.”

“We had a great performance by Ciarra at second singles and the doubles teams placing the win in our hands,” said Schoenig. “After knowing that it would have been easy for Jackie and Allie to save their energies and not compete, they showed great character and tenacity to finish the match and have the 2012 Varsity Team finish with a score of 5-0 against an undefeated opponent.”

Unfortunately, the momentum of the Park Ridge victory didn’t carry to Wednesday, when Verona had to immediately take on Glen Rige for the North 1 semifinals. Noyes defeated Kim Baione 6-2, 6-4 and the first doubles team of Chivily/Tedesco had a draw with Maddie Baione/Erin Carr. But Verona, which had lost to Glen Ridge earlier in the season, came up empty handed in its other match-ups. The girls ended the season with an 8-9-0 record.

The team had a celebration at Let’s Yo after the Park Ridge game.
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In other sports news, the girls soccer team battled the Newark Academy Minutemen to a 1-1 tie Monday in Livingston. Down 1-0 in the second half, Olivia Marino scored the equalizer. Marino’s goal sent the Hillbillies and Minutemen into double OT where neither team was able to take home a win. The girls soccer team record stands at 9-4-1.


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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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