Rutherford HS

NOVEMBER 3, 2015

Rutherford coach Dave Padilla took his tennis players out for ice cream last week after they clinched their first league championship in 30 years.

Senior captain Emma Knight had a kiddie-sized cup of pistachio.

“I didn’t want to make it too expensive because our coach was paying,” Knight said. “I was being considerate.”

Padilla would’ve happily bought a gallon for everyone after his team finished its NJIC Colonial campaign at 13-1 and shared the title with Glen Rock. It was Rutherford’s first division crown since 1985.

Despite the fact that few players come to the school with experience, it has maintained a solid tennis program over the past decade, posting double-digit wins on a regular basis.

This season, the Bulldogs (15-3) had a confluence of experienced players. Junior singles players Seo-Hyun Chang, Danielle Hur and Alisa Vibulbhan teamed with senior doubles players Vivian Liu, Joann Na, Apeksha Tripathi, Kiersten Williams and Knight.

“It’s a big deal for us,” Knight said. “But it’s probably an even bigger deal for our coach.”