The DeMatha Stagline

The Student News Site of DeMatha Catholic High School

The DeMatha Stagline

The DeMatha Stagline

Reigning Champs DeMatha Tennis Fall Short In WCAC Playoffs


The story going into this tennis season was whether or not the Stags could defend their title after going on a historic run in the conference playoffs in 2023. The school retained much of its talent from the championship-winning team and was primed to be a tough opponent for WCAC opponents.

The Stags fulfilled many expectations by finishing 7-4-2 in the regular season and an impressive 7-2 against WCAC foes. Heading into the WCAC tournament, DeMatha’s eyes were firmly set on repeating as champions. Although they came up short, it was a very impressive season and further put forward DeMatha’s presence as a potential conference powerhouse for tennis.

To start the 2024 season, Coach Dalzell’s team picked up right where they left off with two dominating 9-0 victories over Bishop O’Connell and Bishop McNamara. The conference was on full alert that DeMatha was not messing around and was eyeing a second championship in two seasons. The few who doubted the Stags were quickly silenced when DeMatha beat The Heights and St. Mary’s Ryken by a combined score of 17-1. Coach Dalzell’s squad was comfortably sitting on top of the WCAC standings and the wheels were only just beginning to turn.

After getting out to a dominating 4-0 start in the conference, the team then went on their annual team trip. This year, the trip was to Philadelphia where they faced a well-coached LaSalle College High School team. The Stags played 6 doubles and tied the match 3-3.

As the successful trip up north was now in the rearview mirror, the Stags re-focused themselves on conference play. They had their first tough test in the conference as they hosted rival St. John’s. DeMatha was able to win every singles match against the Cadets en route to a 6-3 victory. DeMatha wouldn’t lose a match in the WCAC until April 16 when they lost to future champions Bishop Ireton. The Stags finished 7-2 in conference and 7-4-2 overall in the regular season.

Heading into the postseason, DeMatha was rated as a high seed. They defeated their opponent in the preliminary rounds and moved to the championship. In the championship, they faced Bishop Ireton, a team that had only lost one match all season and had beaten the Stags earlier in the year. After a good first two days, DeMatha led the Cardinals by two points. However, after an impressive last-day comeback, Ireton defeated the Stags by 13 to capture their first WCAC Tennis title.

Although the season may have ended on a low note, it was still a very successful year for the Stags. Coach Mark Dalzell has led the Stags to back-to-back years of top-two finishes in the conference. DeMatha will look to bounce back from their defeat in the championship next year and add another trophy to the looming dominance DeMatha tennis will bring to the WCAC.

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