Meet Loyola Tennis' Senior Captains:
Jonathan Lee '22 & Joe Knoll '22
By Steven Prunier Herman '24
After advancing to the CIF Division I Semifinals last year, Loyola Tennis co-captains Jonathan Lee '22 and Joe Knoll '22 have been leading the team through a steady season. The seniors have been playing on the Varsity squad since their freshman year and were elected by their teammates to be captains in 2022. They will look to lead the team to their first CIF title this season.
For both of these athletes, tennis has been a big part of their lives.
Joe Knoll was born into a tennis family. “My grandfather played at USC, my mother at Georgetown, a couple of cousins at Boston College... there was no way that my parents could get away with raising me without tennis," Knoll said.
Knoll first started playing tennis at the age of six and says that the sport has been in his family forever. As for Jonathan Lee, he first got involved in tennis at the age of 10 and found his passion for the sport at 12. He has been playing ever since then.
As the team’s number one singles player, one of Lee’s notable accomplishments was beating Ziahou Wang, who was the seventh-highest ranked player in all of CIF at San Marino.
Varsity head coach Brian Held ‘93 highlighted this, saying, “Jonathan has really stepped up as a senior who is willing to play against anyone at the schools with some of the highest level players. He beat his opponent 6-1 while making the player look silly in the process by making Wang move up and down all over the court. This win and wins before have given Jonathan a huge boost of confidence.”
As for Knoll, he’s been part of the team’s number one doubles team for the past two years and was a key player against Harvard-Westlake as well. Last season, he made it to the Top 16 in all of CIF with his doubles partner, sophomore Nick Rogers '24.
Rogers said, “As a captain, Joe is a role model for the rest of the team because of how hard he works and his passion for the sport. He leads by example and puts in the effort all the time.”
Aside from tennis, the two also acquire other passions as well. Lee is the Co-President of Loyola’s Coalition of Peace and Justice Club and also has a big passion for photography. He was even featured in two Windowpanes articles for the 2020-2021 issue.
Knoll maintains active involvement with multiple extracurriculars, such as the Ignatian Scholars program, serving as Vice President and Co-Founder of the Cubs for Vets club and participating in the Big Brother program.
These two elite players two have accomplished so much since then both on and off the court.
Coach Held concluded by saying “These two really stepped up as single and doubles players. They are really hard-working players who set a great example on how to get it done on the court and in the classroom.”
These two athletes, students and captains have served their team and school by continuing their efforts in making this a strong season for the Varsity Tennis team and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the season.