After winning her fourth conference championship and advancing to the state tournament for the second time, senior Connie Terlizzi was named the Most Valuable Player of the Wauwatosa West girls tennis team.
Terlizzi teamed with teammate Alyssa Piek to win the Woodland Conference title at No. 1 doubles. The two advanced through sectionals and subsectionals to the state tournament, where they fell in the first round.
"I got a chance to coach her for four years," Wauwatosa West coach Kosta Zervas said of Terlizzi. "I knew what I had with her. I knew the type of player she was. She was always ready to work hard in practice and gave 110 percent every match. She's a big piece to lose, but the rest of the conference is happy to see her graduate because wherever she was on the court we were going to get a win."
Junior Caroline Rachow was named as the Trojans' Most Improved Player. She finished with 19 wins while playing at No. 3 doubles.
"From where she was last year playing No. 2 doubles on JV to winning 19 matches at the varsity level at No. 3 doubles is a huge jump," Zervas said. "She was our biggest surprise. I thought if she made the varsity team she'd be a .500 player. I didn't think she'd be a No. 1 seed and have 19 wins. It was a team effort with her partner, but she did a nice job with her ground strokes, volleying and serving. She was really, really solid."
Zervas gave the Coaches Award to juniors Meghan Schmidt and Amy Carlson.
"I look at the players that act like coaches on the court," Zervas said. "Megan Schmidt worked extra hard in practice all the time. Some girls take points off and screw around in practice, but Megan was always looking to work hard and improve. If I ever needed anything done, I'd ask Megan to take care of it and it was done.
"For Amy, it was more that she was willing to play a spot that she wasn't comfortable playing at No. 2 singles. That's a tough spot when you aren't used to playing the singles game. She did it unselfishly for our program and our team. I know she wanted to play doubles, but she put that aside and did what is best for the team."
The Captains Award was given to Terlizzi, Piek and Schmidt.
As a team, Wauwatosa West finished in sixth at the Woodland Conference tournament. In addition to Terlizzi and Piek making state, freshman Maria Poehls advanced to sectionals.
The Trojans will see a step up in competition in 2017, as they will move into the Greater Metro Conference, a league that features perennial contenders in Brookfield East, Brookfield Central and DSHA.
"I was hoping for a little bit of a better record in conference," Zervas said. "I thought we had opportunities to win matches that we didn't. It just came down to experience. I think we grew up as the season grew on.
"We improved from the first day in August. I thought we made great strides. We have everybody back except for Connie. She's a huge loss, but we have all those girls coming back that now understand what it takes to win at the varsity level."