After spending the last four seasons dominating the competition at first singles for the Gill St. Bernard’s girls tennis team, senior Krishna Patel is proud to be able to walk away knowing she did everything she could as a competitior to win and help her team.
Patel, who started playing tennis at the age of 6, finishes her high school career with an astounding record of 62-1 over four seasons, her lone loss coming against Villa Walsh graduate Jamie Campisi her freshman year.
Since then Patel has won the Somerset County Tournament title at first singles three consecutive years and this season advanced to the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA singles tournament as well as helped the Knights to another South Non-Public B title.
This is why Patel is the Courier News Girls Tennis Player of the Year.
“She’s the face of the program the last four years, people come to watch her play. If you’re a random kid or a teacher walking by, you’re going to stop and watch her play,” Gill St. Bernard’s coach Sean Welcome said. “She’s a four-star player, she’s led the team, she’s always there leading everything, telling people what to do. She’s cared about the team. It’s good to find a girl at that level who cares about the program.”
While Patel has had a lot of success playing at singles, her focus was always on her team and helping the Knights earn victories.
Patel’s SCT first singles title helped Gill St. Bernard’s to a tie for second place in the SCT team tournament, which was the school’s highest finish in the tournament.
“For high school I love the teamwork, individually I guess I have more determination to do other stuff, it gave me the power to focus on one task,” Patel said. “Senior year was the most important, I feel like I was really a leader at the school because I played four years straight and I felt like I could push the girls to do better and they looked up to me.”
Along with enjoying success for four years, Patel also counts the moments where she was able to spend time with her team as some of her favorites.
“Just traveling all four seasons, I just loved being with my teammates and going to different places, I just loved the bus rides,” she said.
Patel is ranked 47th in the United States Tennis Association’s Eastern Region 18 division, along with players such as East Brunswick’s Jennifer Chen and Chatham’s Scarlett Blydenburgh. Despite having been playing the sport for most of her life and celebrating much success, Patel isn’t sure if she’ll continue playing in college, but she knows that she gave her all to the sport and her team while in high school.
“I would have loved to maybe go one more round higher, but I feel like I did everything I could in my capacity in my career,” she said.
Staff Writer Lauren Knego: email@example.com