Tennis scholar athletes honored recently
Bethlehem Catholic’s number one singles player Brenna Magliochetti was named the District XI Tennis Female Scholar Athlete winner at the 20th annual banquet held recently at the Lehigh Valley Hotel and Conference Center in Bethlehem.
Magliochetti tied with Easton’s Elissa Jacobs, who played one singles for the Red Rovers. It was the first time in the history of the banquet there was a tie. The male scholar athlete winner was Parkland’s Matthew Liu.
“When they started saying the AP courses, I thought, wait, I take all those classes. And when they said the Vice President of NHS and Key Club, I thought, that’s definitely me, but I really was not expecting it at all,” Magliochetti said.
Coached by Becahi head coach George Harmanos, Magliochetti ranks in the top 10-percent of her class with a GPA of 4.0. She earned a record of 29-4 at one singles, was the District XI Class 2A champion, a PIAA state finalist, and an EPC All Star.
What Magliochetti will treasure about her high school tennis career is her state singles championship when she was a junior.
“Molly [Ehrig] was out there with me and my family was out there with me, and just to have lost sophomore year and then to come back and win,” said Magliochetti. “But then we have two team district championships, and I made one of my best friends on the team, Molly Ehrig. She won this last year... Just people I will keep in my life forever, and my little sister is coming here next year, so I will still be a part of it.”
Magliochetti plans to attend Providence College where she will also play tennis.
“I’m just going to take classes to see what I’m interested in, and hopefully I’ll find a career that I like,” she said.
This year’s main speaker at the banquet was District XI Tournament Chairman Neil Curtis, who was the banquet’s very first main speaker 20 years ago.
Curtis has been a tennis professional for 40 years and has coached many high school players who have gone on to be accomplished collegiate players. The foundation of Curtis’s success as an athlete and a coach is sportsmanship.
District XI Tennis Scholar Athlete Committee Member Jeff Biro introduced Curtis as the best friend that Lehigh Valley tennis has ever had.
When Curtis came up to the microphone, he joked that he was flattered to be asked to speak because the committee must have thought he had done such a good job 20 years ago. After further contemplation, however, he thought perhaps the committee was giving him a chance to redeem himself from 20 years earlier.
Curtis spoke about the lifelong values tennis teaches, including sportsmanship.
“If you can’t be a shining example then you’ll just have to be a horrible lesson,” said Curtis, who obtained the quote from his wife Lyndell, who was also in attendance.
Curtis also spoke about the bonds tennis creates, including the bond he had with his daughter Erica who passed away last year.
Curtis called tennis the sport of a lifetime and ended his speech with “the ball is now in your court.”
This year’s District XI nominees for the girls were: Jessica Davis of Allentown Central Catholic, Giovanna Murgia of Bangor, Hansika Mandadi of East Stroudsburg North, Valeria Osorio of East Stroudsburg South, Natalie Sinai of Freedom, Julia Zheng of Liberty, Lilliana Nino of Moravian Academy, Halle DeNardo of Nazareth, Grace Tepes of Northampton, Heather Bartlett of Notre Dame East Stroudsburg, Logan Lencheski of Notre Dame Green Pond, Claire Olmstead of Palisades, Murong Yao of Parkland, Alexia Brown of Pen Argyl, Katie Denver of Salisbury, Megan Gatchel of Saucon Valley, Chloe Scozzafava of Southern Lehigh, Anna Tjeltveit of William Allen, and Katie Pope of Wilson.
District XI nominees for the boys were: JianHan Zhou of Allentown Central Catholic, Grant Kaye of Bangor, Maanik Singh of Bethlehem Catholic, Ethan Gabay of Easton, Malik Smith of East Stroudsburg North, Kevin Ge of Emmaus, Justin Szaro of Freedom, Rak Kundu of Liberty, Robert Shaff of Moravian Academy, Soham Patel of Nazareth, Michael Swope of Palisades, Tanner Shaw of Pen Argyl, Joseph Romano of Pocono Mountain West, Patrick To of Salisbury, Keegan Market of Saucon Valley, Jacob Nelson of Southern Lehigh, and Nicholas Demjan of Whitehall.