Livingston’s Newark Academy Girls Tennis Makes Waves in NJ High School Tennis 

By Jerry Del Priore 

Newark Academy after winning the Newark Academy Invitational

It was a banner year for the Newark Academy girls tennis team, as it finished the season at 17-3 and earned the No. 4 rank in the state. Additionally, the Minutemen captured the Newark Academy Tennis Invitational and were the runner-up in the Essex County Tournament (ECT).


Individually, sophomore Ayanna Varma, ranked number eight in New Jersey, led the team with excellent performances, and advanced to the state’s singles quarterfinals. But Varma was not the only player who put forth a solid New Jersey state tournament showing, as sophomore Joanna Yu made it to the competition’s final 32 players. 


In state doubles action, senior Hilary Adelman and junior Molly Egan reached the doubles semifinals, and sophomores Siyona Bordia and Sarah Wang advanced to the doubles Sweet 16 round.


Additionally, Adelman and Egan claimed the ECT Doubles Championship.  


Varsity head coach Lou Scerra said that even though the Minutemen played an ultra competitive schedule in a challenging conference, their ability to stay strong, both physically and mentally, as well as their cohesive bond and determination to win, proved to be the differences to their season’s success.

Hilary Adelman and Molly Egan pose after winning the doubles championship


“We’re very proud of our fall season,” Scerra said in all earnest. “Despite playing in a tough section and a loaded conference, we took another step forward as a team and a program by defeating local rivals and sharing the conference title for the first time since 2001. When I look back on this season, I’ll remember the team’s commitment to competing every single day, their mental toughness, and their desire to play for one another.  I’m grateful for the hard work of all the players and coaches.”


One of the most promising young players in New Jersey high school girls’ tennis, Varma made the All-State Third Team and Non-Public, All-Group Second Team, while Adelman and Egan earned the same honors. Varma also picked up All-Conference First Team accolades, along with Yu. 


Varma said she worked extremely hard on the cerebral aspects of the game, and it paid tremendous dividends on the court this past season. But she made it a point to give credit to the people that supported her throughout her tennis journey.  


“I am proud of my achievements this season and am looking forward to continuing to improve in the future,” Varma explained. “Rather than focusing on the results, I try to place more focus on the work being done behind the scenes, and the controllable variables. I owe all of my success to my teammates, coaches, and family that have continued to support me throughout the process. In addition, my focus on self-belief and positivity has helped me improve my mental game, which has become a game-changer in my results.” 


More honors had senior Mallika Reddy and Adelman and Egan making the All-Conference Second Team. Bordia and Wang received All-State, All-Flight Second Team and Non-Public All-Group Third Team recognitions, in addition to their All-Conference Honorable Mention award. 


All in all, Newark Academy tennis enjoyed a productive season, and have a lot to look forward to in the future. 


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