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On April 22, the tennis team boarded the bus and headed to Monroe for the tennis State Championships. After a solid practice at the venue, the Cardinals were ready to start the tournament.
Sofia Rodriguez ’23 was the lucky Cardinal to draw the 8 a.m. match on April 23. She settled into the match quickly and was able to notch the first point for the Cardinals with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over her opponent from Jennings and advanced to the round of 16.
With the tournament moving efficiently, they called for Mariella Congeni ’23’s match earlier than expected. This did not rattle Congeni, as she showed her experience and stated off the match strong. Congeni cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over her opponent from Holy Savior Menard and secured her spot in the round of 16. Her next draw had her matched up with the North Region champion, who was from North Vermillion. Congeni battled her opponent in every game but was unable to take the match.
Grace Evans ’21 and Gracie Jenkins ’21, playing in their first state tournament, took on a team from St. Louis. Evans and Jenkins played very well and were challenged from the get-go. The Cardinals forced long rallies and made their opponents earn every point. Unfortunately, Evans and Jenkins were unable to hold off St. Louis and dropped their match 2-6, 3-6.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Maniscalco ’21 and May Manning ’21 were playing in their opening match of the tournament. It was evident that this duo was determined to beat their finish from the previous year, and they defeated Catholic New Iberia 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the next round.
With the Cardinal fans bouncing from court to court, it was now time to cheer on Sofia Rodriguez '23 again in her round of 16. Rodriguez drew the regional runner-up from the Baton Rouge area. Rodriguez's strategy was dominant in the opening set as she won it 6-0. Her opponent made some adjustments, but Rodriguez was able to handle the change in strategy and took set two 6-4, advancing to the state quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, Rodriguez faced a familiar opponent who is the two-time defending state champion from the Cardinals' region. Rodriguez held her own but was unable to defeat her opponent from Lusher who would eventually win her third straight singles state title.
It was time for Elizabeth Maniscalco '21 and May Manning '21 to take the court again for the round of 16 against a team from Holy Savior Menard. In the opening set, Maniscalco and Manning played very clean and took the set 6-2. In set two, the team from Menard came out firing, and the Cardinals found themselves in a heated battle and down 0-2. The Cardinals were able to get on the scoreboard but still trailed 1-4. The Eagle fans thought the Cardinals were going to have to go to a tie-breaker to decide this match; however the Cardinal fans had faith. Slowly, Maniscalco and Manning made adjustments and started to make up ground on their opponents. With the score tied at 4-4, the Cardinals had their confidence back, and they used the momentum they had been gaining to finish off the match and advance to the quarterfinals by winning 6-4 in the second set. About an hour later, Maniscalco and Manning were back on the court facing a very strong team from U-High. Despite their best efforts, the duo was not able to beat the Cubs in the quarterfinals.
At the end of the tournament, the four Cardinal teams combined for enough team points for fourth place out of 23 teams.