There is a youth movement in the Mount St. Joseph Academy tennis program; all of last year's singles players were seniors, and a number of doubles players were as well.
There is a youth movement in the Mount St. Joseph Academy tennis program; all of last year's singles players were seniors, and a number of doubles players were as well. With just one exception, the varsity line-up consists of freshmen and sophomores for 2023.
Joy Grafenstine is back for her ninth season as Mount head coach. The Magic have won the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies championship every year since she started coaching, sharing the title with Gwynedd Mercy in 2022.
Kate Murray returns for a fourth season as assistant coach. Her daughter, Beth (now at Notre Dame), was one of seven seniors from last year's team who graduated this spring.
All of the singles spots are being filled by 10th-graders this season, with Natalie Reynolds starting off at number one, and with Maeve Kelly and Paige Mattle playing at second and third singles, respectively.
Last season Kelly played first doubles and Mattle played second doubles, each of them partnered with a senior.
With the largest enrollment of the schools in the AACA, the Mount never has a problem with filling the positions in the three-singles, four- doubles match format used by the Pa. Interscholastic Athletic Association. The AACA league, however, plays three singles and only two doubles matches in a best-of-five competition.
To start out the league season, the Magic will have sophomore Savana Paris and junior Audrey Rocks at first doubles, and freshmen Lily McGann and Avery McNiven making up the second tandem. Rocks is a team captain this fall, along with junior Sophie Householder and sophomore Alexa Buist.
In early league matches, the Mount got by Merion Mercy, 3-2, and defeated Villa Joseph Marie, 4-1. The Magic won both doubles bouts and the third singles match against Merion, and won those three contests plus the second singles match against Villa Joe.
When Mount St. Joe plays a three/four match, four freshmen will make up the additional doubles teams. Currently, Caroline Dougherty is paired with Olivia Mele, while Claire Furletti and Claire Grasm are playing fourth doubles.