Nick Gangewere ('21)

The girls tennis team is very proud of the season they had.

Girls Tennis

January 25, 2021

Elliana Tonghini (’22) swings her racket in hopes to win the match. (Courtesy of Elliana Tonghini (’21))

The 2020 Cherry Hill East Girls Tennis team was an unstoppable force all season long. Losing one match over the stretch of 12 games, they were able to defeat Williamstown, Rancocas Valley and Lenape on their way to a 19th trophy in 22 years. With talent across all grade levels, this team dropped only 5 total matches all season, winning a collective 54. Entering the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, they lived up to the expectations and took home the Group 4 Southwest Sectional championship. After losing their first match to top team Shawnee, they went on to win 11 straight, cementing themselves as a Group 4 powerhouse once again. The girls have continued the tradition of excellence within the program, and are still one of the best tennis teams in the state which is why they get many sponsors including their tennis racquet bag and shirts.

The individual sport of tennis did not seem so independent with this team. The girls not only played every match to have fun, but as a team of elite players they were able to unite and form a winning mentality. By visualizing well and pushing each other each and every day, this team came together and won when lots of people thought they couldn’t. With each player taking leadership roles and acting with grace the entire year, the girls tennis team took 7 individually talented players and blossomed them into one of the best teams in the state.

Despite COVID-19, Julia Chan (’22) had a very successful season participating in her favorite sport. (Courtesy of Julia Chan (’23))

With only two seniors on this year’s team, their only weakness was a lack of experience on the varsity level. 5 new players were thrown into the toughest level of competition, and although it was a new setting, they were still able to each succeed.

Coaches Thoughts: Mrs. Jewett
You guys have now won 19 of the last 22 Group 4 Southwest sectional championships, what type of pressure does that put on your players?

  • Will miss Nancy and Sofia
  • Return most of team
  • No predictions, chips don’t matter
  • Confident they’ll be incredible again (young this year)
  • As long as team can gel and mold
    • No pressure
    • Don’t discuss past
    • Pressure not put on them by anybody
    • Do their best as part of good program
    • Discuss what we have and the future, goals, no past


Sophia Liu (24) had a very successful first season as an East tennis player. (Jared Reiss (’21))


What made this specific team special?

  • Camaraderie, close friends
  • Bond
  • Everyone were great athletes, tennis players, and very intelligent
  • JV, Doubles to lead roles (Improved!)
  • People wrote them off as having a rebuilding year
  • Personal goals and gameplay

As a team and a sport that does not fill the headlines or get the amount of love at this level it deserves, how would you describe the legacy of East Girls Tennis during your tenure?

  • Used to lead headlines
  • Defeated odds
  • Spurred them on


What is in store for the future of this program? (2021 outlook)

  • Will miss Nancy and Sofia
  • Return most of team
  • No predictions, chips don’t matter
  • Confident they’ll be incredible again (young this year)
  • As long as team can gel and mold

Key Players:
Sophia Liu

  • Stats: 9-3 record on the year (Singles 1). All-Group 4 Singles.
  • Quote: “This year, the most important thing for me was really just to contribute to the team in some way. I think I’ve always looked up to East’s tennis team and I’m really grateful to have been part of it this year. This season, Coach Jewett always reminded us to be ‘humble yet intense’ and I think that’s going to continue to be my mindset moving into next season.”

Elliana Tonghini

  • Stats: 11-1 record on the year (Singles 2). All-Group 4 Singles.
  • Quote: “Everyone knew coming in that they had to step up. The mentality that we had to be competitive and work hard to reach success this season helped us feed off each other’s energy and lead to wins. With five new varsity players we were viewed as underdogs, but we came together to have a very good season.”

Julia Chan

  • Stats: 11-1 record on the year (Singles 3).
  • Quote: “I felt pressure to keep improving throughout the season and always playing to the best of my ability, especially during sectionals. I will step up as a junior next year by making sure I guide and motivate the freshmen and sophomores throughout the season and try to be a good role model for others. Especially by having a positive mindset through difficult matches.”

Sofia Pavlenko:

  • Doubles Stats: 12-0 (Doubles 1). All-Group 4 Doubles.
  • Quote: “It was a lot of leading by example because just telling people what to do is not good leadership.”
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