A Page -- July 26, 2011

Mags tennis team returns five Student/Athletes with winning records, three with 15 wins or more

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


ROCKY RIVER -- After a fine 16-4 season in 2010, Magnificat’s tennis team sent two of its Student/Athletes off to Division I collegiate tennis, but still has a lot returning to be competitive in the Coaches’ Cup and individually in the sectionals and districts eventually.


The top returners for the Blue Streaks are co-captains Maddy Lugli and Annie Foliano. Lugli, a senior, qualified for districts in singles after being hurt most of the regular season. Foliano, a senior, qualified for districts in doubles last year and had an overall record of 19-9 on the season.

Foliano (L) with last year's doubles partner Molly Doyle

Seniors Kelly Plagens(19-6), Jessica Hollis(16-9), and Abby Lawless(9-6) return from last year's varsity squad.

Two players who have had a great summer playing USTA Tournaments, sophomore Emily Witt and incoming freshman Lauren O'Malley, look primed to make strong contributions this season as well.

Season Preview

“We might not have the big names within the tennis community, but our depth will be a key asset and I think we will surprise a lot of people who might be expecting us to have a down year,” Mags coach Chris Johnson said.

The top competitors for the Blue Streaks will be Westlake, Chagrin Falls, and Hudson.

“Our goal is to be competitive with these teams and finish in the top 10 of the State and hopefully make a return to the state final four,” Johnson said.

Mags will get tested early in the always-tough Rocky River Invitational, which will be right up the street at Tri-City Park.




Mags tennis/academics alumna Steff Hollis hitting both courts and books big time at St. Louis U.; carrying on Jesuit tradition in studies, athletics, spirit and life; entering second season after garnering A-10 Rookie of Year honors

After coming off a freshman campaign during which she was selected the Atlantic 10 Conference's Most Outstanding Rookie Performer playing for St. Louis University, Magnificat alumna Steff Hollis is ready to take on season No. 2 in the collegiate phase of her Student/Athletic career.

The Rocky River native  was No. 9 in the ITA Central Region singles rankings in January, but more importantly in the academic half of the  conjunct earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll (minimum 3.5 GPA) for both semesters.

The four-time singles state qualifier for Magnificat, Hollis posted a 26-4 singles record and an 18-10 doubles slate in her freshman year as a Billiken.

Note – This story could also be found at Student/Athlete-Cleveland's sister electronic newspaper Student/Athlete-Jesuit by clicking the link below and going to the July 26 A Page


Also, Hollis is already climbing up in the record books with three more seasons to go. She is tied for third in singles wins on the team and tied for 12th in doubles victories on SLU's single-season lists.

She had the best season in terms of numbers racked up on the 2010-11 Billiken squad, leading the team in singles wins, doubles wins, total wins, singles winning percentage (.867) and overall winning percentage (.759).

In dual meets, Hollis was 13-3 in singles (2-0 at No. 2, 1-1 at No. 3, 10-2 at No. 4) and 10-7 in doubles (1-0 at No. 2, 9-7 at No. 3). Her 10 dual-meet doubles wins led the team, and she tied for the team lead with 13 dual-meet singles victories.

At the A-10 Championship, Hollis was 3-0 in singles (La Salle, Duquesne, Temple) with one unfinished match (led 6-1, 4-2 vs. Richmond), all at No. 4 Also at the A-10 meet, she won at No. 3 doubles vs. La Salle and Richmond.

She spread out her victims well as she was tied for the team lead by winning singles and doubles matches against seven different opponents (Bradley, SIU Edwardsville, Morgan State, Southern Illinois, Missouri-St. Louis, Xavier, La Salle).

Hollis started off her rookie season and collegiate phase of her Student/Athletic journey with a bang, winning her first 13 singles matches and her first five doubles contests in the fall and rode that to the sky, not losing consecutive singles decisions all season.

She dusted off some of the best competition, enjoying notable singles wins against opponents from Kansas (twice), Missouri, Nebraska, Richmond and Memphis.

In the tournaments, she reached the round of 16 in singles at the ITA Central Region Championships, winning two qualifying matches and two main-draw matches, teaming with Kasia Tomalak for an ITA doubles victory.

She also went 3-0 in singles and won the Red Flight at the Kansas Invitational, and also at Kansas, she paired with Casey Miller to win the Blue Flight doubles consolation draw (2-1). Hollis won both of her singles matches at the Saluki Fall Draw and went 4-0 in singles and 4-0 in doubles at the Billiken Classic.

She led the team with 13 fall singles victories (13-1) and was 8-3 in fall doubles competition.