Before the first tennis rackets were swung this fall, there was a buzz around the Bishop McGann-Mercy girls tennis team. For starters, the team got the opportunity to play on brand new courts.
The project came together just in time for the start of the fall season and on the afternoon of the varsity team’s first practice, a blessing was held to commemorate the Keith Goodale Memorial Tennis Courts, which were built through donations by the Goodale and Kappenberg families.
The courts were named in memory of Keith Goodale, a Mercy graduate who died in February after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. The first day of practice would have been Keith’s 39th birthday.
In October, as the Monarchs were in the midst of securing another league title, the school held formal dedication of the courts. The Monarchs were the last unbeaten team in Suffolk County that day.
The Monarchs were seeded 16th in the county tournament and won their first match against West Islip. It set up a Round of 16 matchup against No. 1 Commack, where the season came to an end for the team.
But it wasn’t over just yet for top singles player Rose Hayes. The Mercy seventh-grader advanced to the finals of the division tournament in singles, where she lost to Eastport-South Manor standout Jackie Bukzin.