Oneida girls head to state team championship



The 17-0 Oneida women’s tennis team travel to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing to compete in the New York State Women’s Tennis Team Championship on Friday.

This is the first time New York State has hosted a women’s team tennis championship, and this Oneida team couldn’t be more excited to be part of the inaugural tournament.

“It’s a really exciting experience for us,” said Cara Campanie, member of the team.

“It’s the best feeling,” said teammate Kaylin Curro. “We will never forget it.”

“We couldn’t expect more than that,” said head coach Todd Hicks. “Usually our season ends after winning a sectional championship or reaching the individual state tournament, so that’s a little extra for us. It’s great for the girls and great for the community.”

The Oneida Women's Tennis Team poses before departing for the New York State Women's Tennis Team Championship on Thursday, November 4, 2021.

The community is just as excited as the groups of parents, students, school officials, police and firefighters who came together to send the girls showed.

“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Hicks said of all the support. “It’s great to have the support of the community from elementary to high school to restaurants, everyone. It’s been fantastic.”

Results: Top performing Section 3 women’s tennis scores in the Utica region, fall 2021

The girls on the team echoed the appreciation for the support provided by the community.

“It’s really good to have such a great support system and people supporting us,” said team member Jenna George.

“It’s something the community comes together for because it’s such an important thing,” added Curro.

Fire trucks have lined up to send the Oneida Women's Tennis Team to the New York State Women's Tennis Team Championship on Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Along with the excitement of playing for a state championship, Hicks and the Girls are thrilled to play at the US Open venue where so many tennis greats have played.

“Seeing that Serena Williams played there is the most important thing for me.” says Cara Campania. “I’m so excited. We’re going to be on the same grounds as them, that’s pretty cool.”

“The biggest tournament in the world, the US Open,” Hicks said. “This is where the best players in the world have played, so the girls are thrilled. It will be pretty surreal for us.”

The tournament has a slightly different format than what Oneida is used to. In the regular season, Oneida played three singles games and four doubles matches. In state championship rounds, they will still play three singles matches, but only two doubles matches.

Oneida was seeded third and will face eighth seeded Friends Academy of Locust Valley, New York, in the semi-final on Friday morning. If they win, they will advance to the final round on Friday afternoon and face the winner of the game between No.1 Byram Hills and No.5 Harley Allendale Columbia.

Kenny Lacy is a sports reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. Email Kenny Lacy at [email protected].

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