For the first time this year, Upper School Athletic Director Tim Williams took to the podium at McAneny Theater to present the Fall sports recaps and awards. It was great to see the students come together to celebrate their classmates and their athletic accomplishments. It was an exciting year for our fall athletes, as volleyball moved to the fall, tennis collected individual state and county championships, and girls soccer collected their 6th consecutive Prep B title. Here are season summaries and award winners, including the recently announced NJISAA All State Tournament Teams for field hockey and soccer and the Mercer 33 Girls Soccer Team.
Varsity Boys Cross Country
Boys Coaches Award: Tharun Potluri '21, Ben Bigdelle '21
Boys Varsity Award: Gunnar Clingman '21
The team gained several new runners this season which allowed them to continue their steady progress over the past few years. The team ended the dual meet season with a 3-4 record, tallying key wins over South Hunterdon, Solebury, and Wilberforce. The boys ran very well at the George School Invitational and the Shore Invitational, and their 15th place finish at the Mercer County Championship meant that their 5 man average time was the best since 2010, when the team won the Prep Championship. The team finished 4th at the NJISAA State Championship meet, with Gunnar Clingman coming in second overall! With no seniors, this is a group of runners that will see big improvements in the next year and beyond.
Varsity Girls Cross Country
Girls Coaches Award: Alex Hollander '21
Girls Varsity Award: Meghan Rentner '23
This was the first time since 2015 that we have had a stand alone Girls Cross Country team and the girls had a terrific year. Despite losing one of the 6 girls to a season-ending injury in mid-September, they won 3 dual meets and surprised a lot of teams at the George School Invitational finishing 11th out of 20 teams in a very tough field. The girls had their best meet at the Shore Invitational on October 5th, finishing 14th out of 21 teams in the largest meet in New Jersey. Various injuries and illness kept the girls from having a full team in the other meets, including the Mercer County championship. However, the girls returned to full strength and placed 5th at the NJISAA State Championship meet, with Meghan Rentner finishing 5th overall. With no graduating seniors, their future is only going to get better and more competitive.
Varsity Field Hockey
Coaches Award: Caroline Haggerty '20, Skylar Mundenar '20
Varsity Award: Lexie Hausheer '20
The 2019 field hockey season was a successful one and the team was competitive throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is the 4th consecutive year that the team has competed in the NJISAA Prep B Championship game. Despite playing the toughest schedule we've had in five seasons, and graduating our top scorers from 2018, the team finished with an overall record of 8-7-3 and a 2nd place finish in Prep B. The team worked hard this season and our five seniors showed unwavering commitment these last 4 years. These seniors have posted an overall record of 47-22-3, have competed in 4 Prep B State Championship games and 2 Mercer County Finals, and won a Prep B State Championship in 2016. The team hopes to continue their legacy and compete for a Mercer County and Prep B state championship next year.
Varsity Girls Soccer
Coaches Awards: Brianna Astbury '20, Tulsi Pari '20
Varsity Award: Ariana Jones '20
2019 was an exceptional season for the Girls' Varsity Soccer team. The team advanced to the MCT semifinals and won its 6th consecutive Prep State Championship by beating Prep rivals Montclair Kimberly in the semis and Newark Academy in the finals. The team finished with an outstanding record of 16-3-1 and had a goal differential of +51. There were a number of impressive highlights during the season, including wins over Pennington, Steinert, two victories over Princeton and a perfect home field record of 13-0. The team was filled with individual talent who created the deepest team in Panther girls soccer history. Despite having to share time, the team had great chemistry that contributed to their success. Our seniors helped to lead the way in creating the positive team atmosphere and they will be greatly missed next year. With only four graduating seniors, the outlook continues to remain bright for the Panthers girls soccer program.
Varsity Boys Soccer
Coaches Awards: Aidan McChesney '21, Cal Caputo '20
Varsity Award: Jacques Hughes '21
2019 was a tough season for the PDS Boy's Varsity Soccer team in terms of wins and losses. While the season didn't end the way that the team wanted it to, the players showed significant development throughout the season as they played a schedule that was tougher than ever. They played some of the best teams in the state including Pennington, Pingry, Gill St. Bernards and Notre Dame. A couple of games stand out for the season. The first is the performance of the season that ended in a great 3-2 victory over Lawrenceville. Others include the three fantastically fought games verses Pennington, Gill St. Bernards and Notre Dame; despite the results, the performances were fantastic. The team performed best when playing against the toughest competition, and the coaches were very proud of the boys and their determination.
Varsity Girls Tennis
Coaches Awards: Hayden Masia '21, Hannah Van Dusen '21
Varsity Award: Neha Khandkar '23
Yet again, our varsity girls team scheduled matches against some of the best teams in the state including the number one ranked Moorestown Friends. The team started to hit its stride shortly after the Mercer County Tournament. Robyn Karchere-Sun '22, who returned this season more determined than ever, provided strong play at first singles. At second singles. Amy Zhou '23, our hard-hitting baseliner, developed a slice and used it to vary her shots and make them more consistent. Our freshman, Neha Khandkar, announced her arrival to the entire tennis community by managing to split sets with a highly regarded player from Moorestown Friends. She then went on to win both the Mercer County Tournament and the Prep B tournament in the third singles flight. Hayden Masia and Hannah Van Dusen dominated their opponents with power and great play at the net. They carried this momentum forward to win the Prep B state Tournament at 1st doubles. Finally, our second doubles pair of Zaiya Gandhi '20 and Eshaa Doshi '22 came together as a first year doubles pair to battle through some injuries and post some very exciting wins this season. Overall, the team placed second in the Prep B State tournament. With the majority of its players returning next fall, the team stands to be a top contender in the MCT and Prep state tournaments again in 2020.
Varsity Girls Volleyball
Coaches Awards: Sarah Mahmoud '21, Sophia Chavez-Gamboa '21
Varsity Award: Brynna Fisher '20
Despite a change to the Fall season, a practically brand-new varsity team, and a tough schedule, the Varsity Volleyball team faced every obstacle with a positive attitude and willingness to grow. Their hard-work in practice and resilience in games led them to a comeback 3-set match against Stuart which was the highlight of the season. Moving into a season where they would have to play more seasoned and established teams, our girls worked hard and built a tight bond that kept them competitive and positive in every game. Our few veteran players, including our lone senior, Brynna Fisher, mentored our younger players and created a very positive environment for all the girls to play. Through this bond as a team and their love for the game, this year's team has set a firm foundation for the future success of the PDS Volleyball program!
JV Field Hockey
Coaches Award: Lauren Frank '22
Coaches Award: Skye Harris '21
JV Girls Soccer
Coaches Award: Chloe Knerr '22
Coaches Award: Ava Daniel '23
JV Boys Soccer
Coaches Award: Hector Capeilleres '21
Coaches Award: John Mazzarisi '23
JV2 Coaches Award: Jared Sandberg '23
JV Girls Tennis
Coaches Award: Stella Ringblom '22
Coaches Award: Jenny Fan '22
JV Girls Volleyball
Coaches Award: Reed Dillon '23
Coaches Award: Caroline Topping '21
NJISAA All State Tournament Teams
- Kelly Beal '21
- Jules Romano '21
- Anna Ellwood '21
- Aislynn Macco '22
- Alex Liu-Nowakoski '21
- Jacques Hughes '21
- Lexie Hausheer '20
- Caroline Haggerty '20
- Skylar Mundenar '20
Mercer 33 Girls Soccer Team: recognizes best players in Mercer County
- Ariana Jones '20
- Riley Felsher '20
- Kelly Beal '21