Girls Varsity Tennis Team Awarded State Tournament Sportsmanship Award


Frannie Wied, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame Academy Girls Varsity Tennis Team was recently awarded the WIAA State Tournament Sportsmanship Award, a prestigious honor. 

One school at each state team tournament is selected to receive the award. It is determined and chosen based on the sportsmanship that is displayed by the athletes, coaches, fans and spectators. Input is taken from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers, and WIAA staff members. 

The support given to the team from school administrators and chaperones to keep the atmosphere positive and enthusiastic for the team and student athletes is also taken into consideration. 

Teams are judged based on criteria, such as being respectful to all, winning with character and losing with dignity, and permitting only positive sportsmanlike behavior to reflect on their school. 

Winners receive a trophy and banner in recognition of the award and schools are honored with a certificate of recognition. 

The team is coached by Mrs. Sommer May, a 2000 graduate and former tennis player from NDA. She has been coaching girls tennis for the past three years. 

The team had an impressive season, finishing with a 16-3 record. They won conference, sectionals and made it all the way to the state tournament. Even with this impressive season, the coach said that this is the most important award they have received. 

“More important than the accolades has always been how our players conduct themselves on and off the court,” said May. 

May says that winning the WIAA Sportsmanship Award “means a lot to us.” No matter how the team is playing, they always try to exhibit sportsmanship. She says that members on the team are kind to their opponents, and compete with honesty and integrity, along with valuing fair play. They also lift each other up by encouraging and respecting each other. 

“Regardless if we are winning or losing, the team always strives to exhibit good sportsmanship. It is an honor that the officials at the WIAA State Tournament noticed what I witness every day with the team,” she said. 

“We were all really happy and very appreciative to win the award,” said Bea Rayel, a junior on the team. “Every time we get on the court our coach always tells us to have fun and be a good sport to others; we are always mindful of our opponents.”

May says that it is an honor to coach the team, and that this kind of award means much more than any triumph they achieve on the court. 

“I know that the character and skills they’ve shown on the tennis court will lead to even more important victories off the court,” said May.