LIBERTY — The Liberty boys tennis team ended the spring season with a winning record of 18-4.
Capping Blue Jay success was several outgoing seniors who proved vital to the team for several years, coach Andy Schneider said.
“It is hard to put into words what the class of 2019 did for our program. They were instrumental in our program winning five conference and district championships in a row,” he said. Seniors consisted of Jesse Ledford, Kit Mallett, Zach Moorefield, Owen Mulcahy, Cameron Duello and Tyson Cowger. Mulcahy, a three-time state qualifier and two-time state medalist who was all-conference first team in singles and doubles for four years, ended his varsity career with a 160-39 record.
“I came in and the team was already really strong and I was proud to be part of that team that came in and kept the winning tradition going,” he said. “We've won, I think, five-straight district and conference championships now. I was part of four of those on the varsity. It's not just me, but everyone that is there because it's really cool for all over the Northland to have the collection of players that we have.”
Cowger was a two-time state qualifier and medalist and secured four all-conference doubles first team and three all-conference singles first team distinctions. He ended his varsity record 154-36. Duello was a state qualifier and earned two all-conference first team in doubles distinctions.
Liberty's toughest challenge for this season, Schneider said, was its schedule.
“We were 18-4. Our losses were to St. Xavier, nine-time defending Kentucky state champs; Shawnee Mission East, Kansas state champs; Blue Valley Northwest, the Kansas third-place team; and Rockhurst, Missouri's third-place team,” he said.
While the season didn't end the way the team would have liked, falling to Rockhurst, both Mulcahy and Schneider say they are happy with the season as a whole.
“We had our program's first win against Rockhurst, which was huge. Also, our win versus Libreville East turned out to be a big win,” said the coach.
“This year we beat Rockhurst in a match. That was defiantly and highlight and goal for over the last four years,” said Mulcahy, adding no matter how far the team went, it had a dedicated fan base that made for an exciting atmosphere.
“I think we had one of the biggest traveling fan groups. … We always had tons of people to support us. It was really cool,” he said. “It's a good ending moment for all of on the team.”
Looking ahead, Schneider said next year looks good.
“We have three varsity players returning including state medalist Noah Koch,” he said. “We're hoping to continue what these seniors built.”