Team of the year


It wasn't just that Haddonfield went 32-0.

It wasn't just that the Bulldogs won the Group 2 state title as well as the Tournament of Champions.

It was the way this team of seven non-seniors finished the season, the way they rose to the biggest moments, the way they scored dramatic victories over Group 3 state champion Millburn and Group 4 state champion Westfield in the Tournament of Champions.

"We won the Tournament of Champions through heart and determination, not overwhelming talent," Haddonfield coach Jeff Holman said.

Haddonfield won the T of C for the first time since 1980. That same season also was the last time the Bulldogs went undefeated.

"When my 1980 team won the Tournament of Champions, my coaching career was just beginning," Holman said. "As time elapsed, I resigned myself to the probability that the 1980 squad was a once-in-a-lifetime group whose achievements would never be equalled."

Haddonfield's lineup was loaded. Freshman Taylor Ng went 40-5 at first singles. Junior Meghan Burns went 31-4 at second singles. Junior Spencer Ng went 37-4 at third singles.

The first doubles team of Martha Theodoris and Catherine Senopoulos set a school record for wins in going 44-1. The second doubles team of Taylor Noll and Rebecca Senopoulos went 35-4.

Haddonfield rolled through the regular season, beating every South Jersey opponent by a 5-0 score. The Bulldogs cruised to the Group 2 state title, too.

But the T of C was something else. Haddonfield beat Millburn, 3-2, in the semifinals and Westfield, 3-2, in the finals.

In both matches, the Bulldogs rallied from deficits. In the semifinals, Theodoris and Catherine Senopoulos battled back to win the final team point, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-1.

In the finals, Burns overcame leg cramps to defeat Westfield's Tara Crisuolo, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, for the decisive team point.

"It's still difficult to believe it even happened," Burns said of the Bulldogs' perfect season. "It's like a dream. It's like the best that anything can get in high school."