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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Paupack Tennis Team Honors Departing Seniors

  • Three Lady Bucks have played their final varsity matches on the home court.
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  • The courts were festooned with purple and white balloons and ribbons.
    Cakes were made. Friends and families came out to recognize the senior members of Wallenpaupack Area's girls varsity tennis team before their last home stand against Holy Cross.
    Why anyone would stand-up these fine young ladies is a mystery in and of itself, but that's just what happened!
    A scheduling glitch on the part of the visiting school transformed the Lady Bucks into Ladies-in-Waiting as the opposing team turned out to be a no- show.
    What to do?
    Well…to quote the classic Saturday Night Live skit: "Party On, Wayne! Party On, Garth!"
    Not ones to let all the goodies and merriment go to waste, the Lady Bucks saluted Morgan Miller, Kristen Benesz and Savannah Brunette for their years of dedication to the team and recognized them for their contributions on and off the tennis courts.
    Happy Trio
    Miller began her stint with the Lady Bucks' tennis program when she was in junior high.
    She played at that level for two seasons before moving up to the JV squad, where she mostly played singles, and now has sent two years as a member of the varsity team, typically on a doubles team.
    With four years of high school play under her belt, she expressed one thing she'll miss after the season closes is the camaraderie.
    "This isn't a very cliquey team," she said. "We've bonded well and we do a lot of things to include the JV players, both on the court and with activities."
    For many, tennis is a social sport. And, while Miller doesn't see herself competing on the courts in college next year, it's something she'll continue playing for fun or as a club sport at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.
    Page 2 of 3 - There, she plans to pursue a degree in Sociology and somehow put her experience with the WAHS Players, Show Choir, and Chamber Choir to use as well.
    Like Miller, tennis is the only sport Benesz plays in high school. She, too, got her start in the junior high program but then played one JV season as a single before moving on to doubles her sophomore year.
    Kristen prefers doubles and has nestled into that style very well for the past two seasons on the varsity squad. She also sees sports and recreation as tools to a better life more than something for competition.
    "I like to meet people and build friendships," she said. "It's just about having fun."
    Off the court, Kristen enjoys snowboarding in winter and frequently participates in charity walks with her family and friends.
    "I like the walks because they are fun, interactive, and help a good cause. I like doing things to help others."
    Her desire to help others has turned her attention to a career in Special Education.
    While she hasn't decided on a school yet, she would like to stay close to home and knows she has several options.
    Leadership
    Rounding out the trio is Captain Savannah Brunette.
    Introduced to tennis by her dad, she started playing in park courts and came up through the junior high and JV program as well.
    As one half of the first doubles pair, Brunette generally is one of the first players to take up a racquet when it's game time.
    Before and after her matches, Savannah is busy getting her team organized and keeping them spirited though their games.
    Page 3 of 3 - Her leadership transcends beyond the tennis court as he heads up the Student Council and is a member or several clubs and organizations.
    Brunette has an eye on a Marketing degree and hoes one day to work for a major charity or non-profit organization.
    "They're a nice bunch of girls," said Coach Jim Ball.
    "They are all hard working and they're dedicated to the team. It's hard for some seniors who don't always start to stick around in today's age. They are 'we' society players in an 'I' society world.
    "They've stayed with the game and stayed to help other players as well. It's refreshing to coach these kinds of kids."
    The Lady Bucks were scheduled to get a "do-over" against Holy Cross on Monday before the 2013 season closes out with a bevy of D-2 tournaments.

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