Cutline: (From left to right) Head Coach Kelci Henn, Jacqueline Svantner, Sarah Benowitz, Nicole Svantner, Samantha Svantner and Assistant Coach Alex Rine pose at the Memorial Hall Tennis Courts before the game Sept. 23.
Decorations at the Memorial Hall Tennis Courts included streamers, signs, and posters dedicated to each senior.
Junior captain Hallie Hurwitz aligns herself for a serve in her doubles match. She leads the team in doubles wins with five.
Sarah Benowitz (left) and Nicole Svantner (center) reconvene and chat with Head Coach Kelci Henn (right).
Jacklin Mitchell (left) and Ava Carey (right) take a break during their doubles match to strategize.
Ava Carey reaches across her body to return the ball during a doubles match. The first-year has played in every match so far.
Nicole Svantner (back) serves to start the day off. She and her sister Samantha (front) have been doubles partners for years.
Plattsburgh Cardinals men’s lacrosse showed their support at the game, creating signs for every player.
By Kamiko Chamble and Collin Bolebruch
Plattsburgh Cardinals women’s tennis had an eventful weekend, taking home a win over the Division II St. Michael’s Purple Knights Friday, Sept. 22 and celebrating its seniors against the Farmingdale State Rams Saturday, Sept. 23.
The Cards took down the Knights in a nail-biter, with a final score of 4-3. Plattsburgh took home two of three doubles matches, with Nicole and Samantha Svantner winning 7-5 and Jacqueline Svantner and Hallie Hurwitz 6-3. Ava Carey and Jacklin Mitchell dropped their matchup 4-6. Plattsburgh and St. Mike’s split singles play 3-3. Taking losses were Samantha Svantner 1-6, 1-6; Sarah Benowitz 5-7, 6-7 (1-7) and Jacqueline Svantner 4-6, 6-4, 4-6. Winning matches included Nicole Svantner 6-2, 6-1; Jacklin Mitchell 6-0, 6-2 and finally, to win the match, Ava Carey 6-4, 6-4.
The team, highlighted by seniors Benowitz, Nicole, Jacqueline and Samantha Svantner, came together Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Memorial Hall Tennis Courts. Family and supporters came to celebrate and congratulate them on their time at Plattsburgh. The team lost 2-7, but the day was bigger than the final score.
In the first doubles match, Nicole and Samantha Svantner played against Lien Collings and Natalia Furchel, losing 3-8. In the second match, Carey and Mitchell played against Amanda Jones and Mackenzie Gisler, losing 1 to 8. In the last match, Hurwitz and Jacqueline Svantner played against Gabriella Loria and Mikayla Demaria, losing 5-8.
The Cardinals’ lone wins came during singles play. Losing was Samantha Svantner 1-6, 6-7 (2-7); Nicole Svantner 7-6 (9-7), 3-6 and 0-1 (7-10); Jacqueline Svantner 1-6, 4-6; and Carey 6-7 (3-7), 2-6. Benowitz won her match 6-1, 6-1.
Nicole Svantner and Furchel ended the day with a lengthy singles battle. The match went into two tie breakers, but Svantner eventually lost 7-6 (9-7), 3-6 and 0-1 (7-10).
Each of this year’s seniors call Rockland County home, attending rival high schools. The Svantners attended Clarkstown South and Benowitz Clarkstown North.
They’ve known of each other long before Plattsburgh, attending middle school together.
Nicole Svantner is a major in childhood education and special education. Nicole and her sisters’ love for Vermont had an influence on their decision to go to Plattsburgh
“We love Vermont and Plattsburgh is closer to Vermont. We grew up going to Vermont,” Svantner said. “We committed early, so it made our decision pretty easy to play together.”
Jacqueline Svantner, also majoring in childhood education and special education, played soccer her whole life, but a concussion led her to play a non-contact sport in tennis. She’s happy she gets to share the court with her sisters as Cardinals.
“I don’t know if me and my sisters originally wanted to go together, but I’m glad it worked out that way,” Svantner said. “We found this place that has all of our majors, and we get to play on the same team, so it’s a really unique experience.”
Samantha Svantner is a communication sciences and disorders major. Samantha got into tennis because soccer might have been bad luck for the Svantners.
“I saw my sisters get injured from soccer. I saw Jacquline get a concussion, Nicole tore her ACL, and then my younger sister tore both of her ACLs,” Svantner said.
Benowitz started playing tennis at a young age, and her mother had a big influence on that.
“I played almost every sport: soccer, dance, gymnastics and my mom played tennis growing up, so she put me in lessons when I was at the age of 5, I think,” Benowitz said.
She started at Ohio University. Both Sarah’s aunt and father went to Plattsburgh, and now she feels like she’s following in their footsteps.
Head Coach Kelci Henn, a former Cardinal, was hired at the same time this year’s senior class arrived. She’s learned how to coach with them.
“We grew with each other. They worked out all of my kinks just as much as I worked out all of theirs,” Henn said. “We figured out what works and doesn’t work all through trial and error. We just figure it out as we go each day, and I think reaching this third year together we found our groove. I kind of know how they play, how they move, their tendencies, how they’re going to react to specific things, and they know what I’m going to say before I even say it.”