Stephanie Hollis may be an underclassman, but she performed
like a veteran in helping lead her Blue Streak team to the state
team title on Sunday. (West Life photo by Matt Thornicroft)
team play leads Magnificat to first ever tennis title
By Matt Pawlikowski
Published Oct. 24, 2007
a night when most of Northeast Ohio was not in a jovial mood due
to the Indians’ loss to the Red Sox, there was one group of girls
who were the exception.
No, they weren’t Red Sox fans; instead they were the
Magnificat girls tennis team, who capped off a magical 23-0 year
as they defeated Dublin Jerome in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association
State Final to take home the 2007 state championship.
“This is really great. I’m on cloud nine right now,”
said senior captain Meghan Hollis. “Everyone at school is excited
for us, and our team is so happy. This has been the ‘Dream
The championship for Magnificat was its first tennis
State Championship of any kind. It is also the first Girls Division I
team from Northeast Ohio to take home the State Team Title since
the tournament’s inception in 1975.
But winning the title was no easy task, as the team
had to battle some stringent competition on a gorgeous afternoon
outside of Columbus, and it took some excellent play to get it done.
Stephanie Hollis and Madison Hromada captured huge
singles wins as they defeated two girls who had teamed up to win
the State Doubles Championship the previous day. Hollis, who also
qualified for the state tourney as an individual, won her set 6-1,
6-1 and like her sister was ecstatic after the win.
“Me and my sister are just thrilled,” said Stephanie
Hollis. “We are just so happy. We put a lot of time in and had great
matches. But this is a great win for all of us. It’s the first time
ever that a Magnificat team has won in tennis, so it’s a great accomplishment.
Madison really pulled us through, and when she won we knew we had
Hromada’s win was the key to victory and was one of
the tougher ones of the day, as she battled to a 7-6 first set win,
then took home her final match 6-4.
“Madison doesn’t give herself any credit,” said Meghan
Hollis. “She pulled through against Walsh in an earlier match, and
did it again today. She’s an awesome player. She helped make my
last season a memorable one.”
Kaeley Doyle and Meghan Hollis also got hot at
the perfect time for the Blue Streaks, as they cruised to a 6-3,
6-4 victory at first doubles.
“We had an absolutely outstanding performance out
there today,” said Coach Chris Johnson. “Everyone had the mental
toughness that is necessary to win big matches like this. The whole
team stepped up big time and I could not be more proud or more excited
for the girls. They worked harder than any group I have been associated
with and their hard work really paid off. This is a very special
group of young ladies.”
In the semifinals earlier in the morning, Magnificat
battled past Toledo St. Ursula.
It was upset city for the Blue Streaks in this one,
as Stephanie Hollis pulled a huge one as she beat
Ursula’s highly ranked first singles player Maddy Eccleston. Meghan
Hollis and Doyle dominated in a victory at first doubles while Allie
Wasilko and Noelle Kaufmann won a hard fought match at second doubles.
“Megan and Kaeley were playing doubles together for
the first time this season and I was not sure what to expect,” said
Johnson. “But they went out there and played fantastic tennis, and
it definitely gave the team the lift that it needed. Stephanie has
played outstanding all season, but today she played like she was
on a mission. It was definitely her best performance of the year.
It was a dream season and they certainly deserved it. This is a
season that all of the people involved will never forget.”