Holy Spirit junior Adrienne Kaye has continued to improve as a tennis player as her high school career has progressed.
As a sophomore, she started to realize her potential after winning the Cape-Atlantic League Individual Tournament.
This year the Egg Harbor City resident repeated as CAL individual champion and made an appearance in the quarterfinals of the South Jersey Coaches Invitational.
She also bettered herself in the state individual tournament by making it to the third round after a loss in the first round last season.
Kaye is the Press Player of the Year for the second straight season.
"I think the best part that has happened to her game is her head," coach Diane Kresz said. "Her confidence has grown and she now believes she can do what she's capable of. Last year she kind of just did it."
Last season, Kaye was surprised to hear the news of being named Player of the Year, but this year she was humbled and excited.
Not only did she succeed individually, but the 16 year old helped the Spartans to their sixth straight CAL National Conference title and eighth in the past 10 years.
Kresz said Kaye is a team player. She's the first one to offer to help out with the other players whether it's JV, doubles or singles.
"I love being able to help out my team. It's huge knowing that I can help them out and it feels good having this (accomplishment) under me too," Kaye said. "(Being Player of the Year) makes me feel more accomplished. We have some really good players in our league. It's a big honor."
Team of the Year
Mainland Regional switched from Group III to Group IV in 2003 and has appeared in the playoffs seven times since then. The Mustangs finally won a sectional title in 2010 with a 3-2 victory over Eastern.
Despite losing in the state semifinals to Livingston, the Mustangs still had something to play for - the CAL American Conference title.
Mainland last won the title from 2001-2003 under longtime coach Janice Mott. The Mustangs' conference title hopes seemed to slip away with a late-season loss to Millville, but Mainland beat Ocean City and Vineland to finish 17-3 and share the title with the Thunderbolts.
"Every match mattered at that point," fourth-year coach Kathy Yohe said.
"The girls really got into it and really wanted it. At the beginning I thought they were a special group and I felt we had the depth to win it."
Yohe, who won her first sectional title of any kind as a head coach, led a team of five seniors, one junior and a sophomore to a memorable season.
The five seniors may be hard to replace next season, but the Mainland program is always strong.
"What I will miss the most about them is the fact that giving up was never an option for any of them," Nardi said. "The relationships we all gained on and off the court will also be greatly missed."
Contact Kelly Ashe: