Vandegrift tennis team claims victory at state

Ashley Chase and Jasmine Moreno

Meghan O’Malley and Gabriella Cusano both went to compete in doubles and Tyler Duncum went to compete in singles at state for tennis on May 16th and 17th. O’Malley and Cusano won state and Duncum placed second.

“[My family] kind of got emotional but they were also proud of me because they knew I worked hard to get to state and try to win it,” Cusano said. “They were just proud that I won.”

Duncum says that she thought she had a chance to win at state.

“Since I got second place, it was kind of sad because I had lots of match points so I could have won but I didn’t,” Duncum said. “But it’s still a good accomplishment even though I got second.”


Cusano and O’Malley prepared for the upcoming meet with supplemental outside of school practice.

“Me and my partner practiced outside of school and just really would get to know each other and we became almost best friends,” Cusano said. “That was good to keep harmony and to communicate on the court and it just took a lot of hard work and practice from both of us.”

Duncum says that the extra practice helped her develop a mental toughness.

“You have to learn to control your feelings because if you miss a ball and then you get mad about it it can mess you up for the rest of the match so you need to learn to move on and forget things that happen,” Duncum said. “So I think it helps with things outside of tennis.”

With singles in tennis, one player faces off against another, whereas with doubles one pair plays another pair. Cusano, who competed in doubles at state, explained how she liked the interaction with a partner in doubles versus singles.

“You can talk it out with [your partner] and kind of problem solve how you’re going to get through the match and it’s kind of fun to interact with someone on the court,” Cusano said. “I personally like doubles better but singles is still fun because you kind of get to play for yourself and challenge yourself more.”

Cusano says she is planning to pursue tennis in her future at college and says winning state has prepared her for that.

“It’s just made me work hard because I know it’s something I want to do in college,” Cusano said. “It’s taught me to work hard, not quit, be positive in life, not just give up.”