Smokin' Aces: Newton girls win LHC tournament
PELLA — When Newton girls tennis coach Erick Zehr took over three years ago, the Cardinals’ program was in shambles. The team was tough to watch, and they hadn’t won a meet in three years. On Monday afternoon, the Cardinals completed their full-circle turn around under the Zehr’s leadership by winning the Little Hawkeye Conference tournament championship.
“I’m lucky because I get to come to practice every day and work with a fantastic group of girls,” Zehr said. “They have so much personality and heart, and I cherish every day we get to work together. It is what makes days like today so special. If we were supremely talented but heartless, these wins would be empty and hollow. We don’t have overwhelming ability, so the fact that every one of these girls gutted out tough wins to contribute to an incredible accomplishment, it was a very proud day for their coach.”
This tournament championship is especially sweet for Zehr, who coached the team within one point of winning the tournament two years ago. The Cardinals certainly solidified their place as one of the premier programs in the conference, and they proved that their second regular season title in three years is well deserved.
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