St. Joe Tennis Team Smashes State Championship


STL Today

St. Joesph’s Academy tennis team awarded the championship against MICDS.

Bella Hong, Senior Staff Writer

Cooper Tennis Complex: the place where the girl’s MSHSAA tennis championship took place. The St. Joseph’s Academy tennis team traveled here on October 22 to compete for the state title. They won their district and sectional matches against Lindbergh and Parkway South. For the semi-finals, they played St. Teresa’s Academy which is, coincidentally, St. Joseph’s Academy’s sister school located in Kansas City. The St. Joe team won with a sweep (5-0). For the finals, St. Joe played MICDS which was a lot tougher than many had expected. 

Seniors Bella Hong and Ellie Choate played number one doubles against a pair of sophomores from MICDS with a score of 9-8 (7-3). At number two doubles, Junior Abby Gaines and Senior Morgan McKinnis won 8-6, and freshman Alice Kennedy and Ashley Behan won 8-1. It was a clean sweep for doubles meaning they only need two more matches to win the whole tournament. McKinnis ended up winning her singles 1,0 in under an hour to keep the Angels at a 4-0 lead. Ashley Behan was up in the second set 5-4, only needing one more game to clinch the entire match, but Alice Kennedy clinched before Ashley by winning in a tiebreaker (10-3). 

Ellie was ecstatic to win the state title. With a tough individual weekend, she knew she wanted to end senior year on a good note. 

“Nerves got to us last weekend, but it was great to get another chance. This is the way to finish my high school career, going out with gold,” Ellie said.

Abby also had a tough individual tournament. She had to play against the state champion during the semi-finals. 

“I was disappointed with the way I played against Emily, but she played very well and deserved the win. I loved bouncing back the way we did and being able to win the state title with my teammates,” Abby said. 

Coach Doug Smith was also hoping for a state championship. After losing to John Burroughs in districts last year, he was determined to win a state championship before his retirement. 

“First of all, it was a tremendous year overall. And everybody was clutch. I told the girls it would take both skill and will and that will is often the most important of the two, although we certainly have the skill,” Coach Doug said. 

All in all, the St. Joe Tennis Team had a fantastic season and celebrated by winning State.