The varsity tennis team’s co-captains, Jonathan Lee ‘22 and Joseph Knoll ‘22, led the team through an excellent season that ended with a tough loss in the CIF Finals. Both seniors have been on varsity since their freshman year and were elected to be captains by their fellow teammates.
Prior to the CIF playoffs, the team as a whole competed in the Mission League Individual Tournament and left with some key wins. Notably, doubles partners Darren Ignatius ‘24 and Braun Levi ‘25 stomped through the tournament to become the 2022 Mission League Doubles champions after beating Harvard-Westlake in two sets, 7-5, 6-4.
Ignatius said, “When we were invited to the tournament, we knew we were going to play our hearts out, which we did.”
Both Ignatius and Levi were recognized for this huge accomplishment as well as honorably received the Missions League Doubles MVP award for the best doubles team in their league.
As for the captains, Lee made it to the finals of the Mission League Individual Tournament for singles, while Knoll advanced to the semifinals in doubles with his partner Nicholas Rogers ‘24. Another honorable mention is senior Finn Tipton ‘22 who was the team’s number two singles. He claimed multiple wins and advanced far in the tournament. Additionally, all six players each received awards recognizing their wins and making it as far as they did in the tournament.
The team’s advancement shows great improvement since last in the playoffs. The team made it to the quarterfinals and this year they did even better making it to the finals.
Through the team’s determination and fighting spirit, they were awarded the opportunity to go up against the school’s long-standing rivals, Mira Costa, in the CIF Finals. At Claremont Club in Monte Vista, the team battled hard and gave it their all. Unfortunately, the team came just short of the Championship title losing two games and ending the final score with Mira Costa winning 10 games and Loyola winning 8.
Although the team was just two games short of their first CIF Championship, the overall season and playoffs proved to be a historical one for Loyola’s Tennis program. Finishing the overall season with a total of 14 wins, 8 loses, and 1 draw, the team has shown massive improvement and has accomplished so much this year. After the leadership we have seen this year by both Jonathan and Joe, Loyola Tennis has displayed excellent development and continues to show a promising future for many more seasons to come.
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.”
The captains served their team and school by succeeding on the court, in the classroom, and around campus, embodying what it truly means to be a Cub.
At the Loyola Tennis Varisty and JV banquet Coach Held mentioned how proud and happy he was to see how far the team has come. The team came to play and displayed that on the court fighting hard all the way. With 8 seniors graduating, the team will be back next year with a new roster and hungry for another shot at the Championship Title.