Athlete of the Week: Mayo Girls Tennis

Published: Oct. 30, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
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“I think it’s a really big accomplishment for the team, I think we all worked really hard and, yeah, I think it’s super exciting that the first time ever for the girls. So I think we’re all super happy,” said Keely Ryder.

For the first time in their twenty-six state championship appearances, Mayo Spartans girls tennis won the team state championship, clinched by a sophomore.

“It was really nice that I was able to step up and have a good third set,” stated Ana Medina.

Mayo became the fourth school since 1997 to win a Class AA state title.

Claire Loftus was confident in this year’s group. “I think we knew going in that we had a strong scene with lots of talent, so I think. I knew that we were capable of kind of like the sweep.”

The sweep: a team championship, plus individual singles and doubles titles. Loftus, the winner of her team match and the individual singles state champion.

“That was just a really enjoyable moment for me because there’s been many times where I don’t want to go to practice, and I do,” mentioned Loftus. “I think that’s what it was all for. So yeah, I was really happy.”

Keely Ryder, one half of the doubles individual state championship, also a winner in her team doubles match with Nandini Iyer, spoke about the fan support throughout the tournament.

“I think after we lost the first set, we’re kind of slow down with ourselves, and yeah, but I think the student section just kept cheering us on and then we knew that we were representing our school. So kind of inspired us to keep fighting. And I think that definitely helped us out.”

Maleah Diehn, Ryder’s partner in the doubles championship, also won her singles match in the team tournament.

“It means so much. I mean, it’s so cool to do it when I’m only a freshman,” said Diehn. “I feel like that gives me hope for the next years and to do it with Keely. Like, I feel like we make a really good team.”

This championship is significant, to say the least. Coach Demaray was obviously thrilled with the result, but more grateful for the program’s foundation.

“To all those former players and parents and coaches that put so much time into this program. This is for the Mayo Tennis family,” ended Demaray.