School Life
Athletics

2021 Fall Athletic Desserts

By Sandra Santana
Last month, Emma Willard School came together to celebrate 180 Jesters across 11 Fall sports at Athletic Desserts. While all athletic celebrations bring joy to the community, this particular event was a special one, marking the first full season of play since Fall 2019. Read on for our list of Fall award winners!


The 2021 Swimming and Diving team, coached by Katherine O'Donnell and Assistant Coach Eric Martell, competed in Section II finals, finishing strongly in 4th place (and only a few points out of third) in a field of 10 schools.

Badminton, Head Coach Shelley Maher


Most Valuable Player: Eaint M. ’22
This player was our #1 singles and doubles player all season. She is a fierce competitor and will battle for every point in every game. She is as graceful with her touch shots as she is with speed on her smashes. She is a team player through and through and is constantly encouraging others and helping them improve. She gave everything she could on the court, and we will remember her in her matches against Mary, battling for every shot from the starting serve to the ending point.  Congratulations to the MVP, Eaint M. ’22. 

Most Improved Player: Claire L. ’23
This award was a challenge in that there were many students who showed tremendous improvement over this season. Saying this, this player showed the most improvement and I cannot believe she had not been involved in badminton before this year.  This player did not miss a practice session or match. She came with an eagerness to learn and improve. She was an outstanding teammate and was always encouraging to her peers. She became stronger in all aspects of play, and I cannot wait to see her return for next season. Congratulations to Claire L. ’23.

Crew, Head Coach Robert Tarrant and Assistant Coach Bridget McGivern

Outstanding Novice Rower: Tess L. ’24
Our Outstanding Novice rower is a young lady, new to the team last spring, who tenaciously pulls on every stroke and is always ready for the next challenge, the next practice, or rowing with any crew, any seat.  She wears her game face on the water and her smile on land.  Coach McGivern and Coach Bob are proud to award the Outstanding Novice Award to: Tess L. ’24.

Rising Star: Sol H. ’24
Our “Rising Star” is a rower who attends every practice, ready to work hard, and improve on every aspect of the sport. That xe did all fall. Xyr technical prowess on each stroke is “spot on”.  Xe rows with any crew and any seat with a sense of giving it xyr all.  Xe is certainly a rising star on Emma Crew with a very bright future.  We are proud to present the Rising Star Award to Sol H. ’24.

Cross Country, Head Coach Erin Hatton and Assistant Coach Andy Reed

Rookie of the Year: Tracy C. ’24
Our first award is a Rookie of the Year Award, which is given to a new athlete who has contributed to the success of the team and demonstrated the values of an Emma Willard cross country runner. This athlete was a committed member of the team, had a positive attitude, and supported her teammates. She quickly, yet quietly, made it clear she would be one of the top 10 runners on the team, and she consistently placed in the top 10 each race. She worked diligently at practice each day, whether it was pushing herself in a workout or foam rolling after a run, she was a role model athlete. She was humble about her improvement; she improved her 2.75 mile time by almost 3 minutes over the course of the season, and she even averaged a 7:53 mile pace for her last race, which was faster than her 8:02 timed mile on the first day of practice. For her positive attitude and excellence in her first year of cross-country, the Rookie of the Year Award goes to Tracy C. ’24. 

Coaches Award: Sherry H. ’24
Our Coaches Award this year goes to a member of the team who demonstrated the values of an Emma Willard cross country runner and made huge improvements in her running this season. From the first day of practice, it was clear this runner was ready to work hard and do so with a smile on her face. In the first track workout we did, I told several athletes they could finish a lap early if they wanted, but this athlete ran the last lap of the track all alone, so she would get in her full 3 miles of running. This dedication and hard work allowed her to make great improvements in her running times. Her 2.75 mile time improved from 32:20 to 24:18. This athlete also exuded great positivity on the team, happily cheering on her teammates and reminding others of the joy of running. For her positive attitude, hard work, and improvement this season, the Coaches Award goes to Sherry H. ’24. 

Swimming and Diving, Head Coach Katherine O'Donnell and Assistant Coach Eric Martell

Coaches Award: Isabelle B. ’23
Our first team award is the coaches award.  Given to a member of the team who best displays the characteristics and qualities of a strong teammate, leader and athlete. The winner of this year’s award has shown extraordinary leadership.  Assisting coaches and teammates alike throughout practices and meets, and voluntarily taking on new responsibilities.  Not only does this swimmer have the top practice attendance record of the season, she was not late to practice a single time-always arriving on deck ready and prepared before 3:45.  Although her coaches are very proud of her improvement this season, they are even more proud of her consistently positive attitude. This swimmer has demonstrated an overwhelmingly positive and upbeat attitude at meets regardless of her swimming results, and regardless of what type of day she is having outside of the pool.  She gives her best effort at each practice and meet no matter what set or event she is swimming.  Not once have the coaches heard a complaint come out of her mouth.  This person shows true initiative in many aspects of her training and leadership role, and provides encouragement and support to teammates in need.  It is for these reasons, (and many others too lengthy to detail), that the 2021 coaches award for swimming and diving is being given to Isabelle B. ’23.

Most Improved: Elle K. ’24
Our final award is most improved. This award is given to a member of the team who has improved not only in swimming ability and achievement, but in attitude and swimming IQ as well. The winner of this year’s most improved award has become one of our utility athletes. A swimmer we can put in any event, and have confidence that the person will have a degree of success. This is a rare type of swimmer, a varsity coach’s dream- one who can swim the 50 to the 500 or the 100 breast to 100 fly and everything in between. The coaches challenged this person this year, and had her swim several new events at dual meets. She rarely complained about swimming these new events, and always seemed up for the challenge and ready to conquer the new event with a positive attitude. This swimmer finished almost every race by asking for ways to improve her strokes and/or turns. She showed a true desire to improve this season, and it was clear by her effort at practice that she wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of her goals. The coaches can’t wait to see all the things she does in the off season to help her get ready for next varsity swim season.  Congratulations to this year’s most improved, Elle K. ’24!

Tennis, Head Coach Anna Despart and Assistant Coach Judith Price

Coaches Award: Nikki B. ’22
This year's Coaches Award goes to a player who exemplified what it means to be a team player. She showed up every day with a smile and willingness to learn. She competed in doubles and was quick to adjust to new partners. As a captain, she was reliable and dependable. Her work ethic was a great example to the rest of the team. I am proud to announce this year's Coaches Award goes to Nikki B. ’22.

Most Improved: Maya J. ’25
This year's Most Improved Award goes to a player who was consistently striving to improve her game.  Although she only competed in exhibition matches, she came to practice ready to learn every day. She was flexible in her ability to adapt to both doubles and singles play. She consistently had a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn from both her coaches and teammates. I am proud to present this year’s Most Improved Award to Maya J. ’25.

JV Field Hockey, Head Coach Elizabeth Spoehel and Assistant Coach Gina Egan

Most Valuable Player: Prairie G. ’23
This player could be described as a ray of sunshine. They are always smiling, whether while running the dreaded campus mile, doing push-ups in the rain, or during a particularly hard game when the score just isn’t going our way. This never ending positivity and their want to get better by seeking feedback in almost every practice and game meant that their coaches felt sure they could rely on them to play almost every game without a substitute and made them the perfect choice for team captain. Our most valuable player this year is Prairie G. ’23.

Most improved: Punch K. ’25
This player was a rallying point for all of us. She did an excellent job of raising morale whenever spirits were low and kept a cool head during our most challenging games. She was always looking for ways to improve her skills. With this goal in mind, she even stepped forward to play in some varsity games at the end of the season. Her growth in both abilities and maturity over the season was seriously impressive. Our most improved player is Punch K. ’25. 

Varsity Field Hockey, Head Coach Elizabeth Parry and Assistant Coach Samantha Skott

Most Improved Player: Gabby P. ’23
You made some considerable improvements from the beginning of the season to the end – your confidence, skills, and instinct grew stronger and stronger as the season progressed.  By the end of the season, you were stopping and clearing the ball stronger and were aggressive to the ball as well as stronger with your clears. Your stats don’t properly reflect your impact on the game. There are two games that stand out as a perfect representation of all that you can do. During our home game against Salem we were up 2-1 and with no time on the clock we had to play out four defensive corners. A Salem attack player hit a ball that went airborne, and you put your hand up and stopped it. In our sectional game vs Queensbury, you faced 23 corners and 36 shots. You certainly helped our defense be as strong as it was. You stepped up against some of the league’s and section’s strongest attackers, and for that we are pleased to recognize you, Gabby P. ’23, as this season’s Most Improved Player. Watching your improvement has been one of the many joys of the season, and we look forward to your continued progress next year!

Most Valuable Player (MVP): Ceci C. ’24
You have a commanding presence on the field that radiates a calm but clear confidence. You are the quarterback of this team from the starting whistle to the ending whistle. Your skills are on par with the toughest competition and are the model for your teammates. Your stamina was certainly tested! You were actively involved in all plays on the field; whether we were on defense, where you defended and cleared balls out of the circle, or our ball carrier through the midfield, or on attack as our playmaker and shooter. Your stick skills and field vision are solid. Your ability to handle the ball in tight spots and get us to goal or a corner has been essential to our success. You were our leading scorer with five goals and 1 assist. For your endless efforts and hard play, we are delighted to recognize you, Ceci C. ’24, as our season’s Most Valuable Player. You have also been named to the Wasaren league first team all star team. 

JV Soccer, Head Coach Katharine Holt and Assistant Coach Heidi Spohn

Coaches’ Award: Bhoomi L. ’24
If you look up “utility player” in the dictionary, you might catch a glimpse of this person. By the end of the season, she had rotated through every position on the field. She most often played center back, and in that position was a key member of our strong defense. But, always eager to help the team and gain experience, this player also completed several strong halves as goalkeeper, covered countless yards as an active center midfielder, and let her aggression loose as a striker in several games. She even scored a beautiful goal against New Lebanon! For eagerly jumping in wherever we asked her to and giving her very best during every moment of our games and practices, we are pleased to give a coaches’ award to Bhoomi L. ’24.
 
Coaches’ Award: Julia G. ’25
For a soccer team to cohere, it needs players with the ability to focus on the needs of the team, good field sense, and the stamina to get where they need to on the field to set up plays. We had a number of players on our team with a good work ethic, strong stamina, and well-developed play making skills, but one player in particular was remarkable for her combination of skill and selflessness. This player hustled at every practice, making the most of each warm up, drill, or scrimmage that we asked her to complete. She also paid close attention to the strategies we offered and observed the playing styles of her teammates closely. Her focus in practice paid off, allowing her to be a terrific teammate when it came to be game time. As a center midfielder, she anticipated plays on all ends of the field and delivered and received more passes than almost anyone. For running her tail off and being the consummate teammate, we are delighted to give a coaches’ award to Julia G. ’25.

Varsity Soccer, Head Coach Drew Levy and Assistant Coach John Ball

Co-Most Valuable Players: Grace P. ’22 and Katie E. ’22
The Varsity Soccer team is extremely pleased to honor this year's co-captains, seniors Grace P. ’22 and Katie E. ’22, as co-Most Valuable Players. On and off the field, during practice and in games, Grace and Katie were exemplary team leaders. They were both selected as second-team All Stars in the Wasaren League. Playing predominantly in the mid-field, Katie centered the team's offensive attack; accumulating both assists and goals, she served as the team's most consistent playmaker, even while simultaneously attracting the consistent focus of opposing defenses. Grace anchored the team's back line and did so with confidence, skill, and determination. She strengthened our defense not only through her own play, but also by elevating the play of her teammates. 

JV Volleyball, Head Coach Mary Hunter and Assistant Coach Marina Bonilla Conejo

Rookie of the Year: Lyra M. ’25
This player is a freshman who has not played for Emma in the past years. She showed up to practice every day and was the first one to help with the net. This athlete was a leader on the volleyball court with her positivity and high energy. She believed in her teammates and was patient with herself and other people’s mistakes. Even though this athlete was new to Emma’s volleyball team this year, she came with a toolbox full of expertise. This athlete just knew how to serve, receive, and hit the ball in the right places and was a reliable teammate. For her relentless effort, expertise, and consistent positivity, the award Rookie of the Year goes to Lyra M. ’25.
 
Coaches Award: Manyi L. ’23
This player stood out for her leadership qualities. From the beginning, this athlete was an all-rounder that could play any position well. They would always go after the ball, no matter how far they had to run. This person stood out for their communication abilities with the other players on the court, but also with valuable feedback for the coaches. This athlete was always ready to help and to provide their veteran knowledge of the game to both the other players and the coaches. This person was willing to do anything for the team, even play a position they didn’t like as much. This athlete was dependable on and off the court and has proven to be an invaluable teammate and captain. For their leadership and contribution to the team, the Coaches Award goes to Manyi L. ’23.

Varsity Volleyball, Head Coach Casey Summers and Assistant Coach Sydney Doornbos

Sportsmanship Award: Ugne B. ’23
This award is presented to the athlete who displayed outstanding sportsmanship throughout the 21-22 varsity volleyball season. She consistently showed up in every way for our team – always arriving on time for games/practices and staying after practice to work on developing her skills more. By working on her skills, she showed a great improvement in her fundamental skills, which then directly resulted in more playing time. She proved to be a versatile player – when only having one position’s rotation memorized, she never hesitated if the coaches asked her to sub in for another player, no matter the position. The most memorable time was when Tina Q. ’22 needed an immediate break from the court, this athlete jumped from the sidelines– not fully knowing Tina’s rotation but willing to step up with the guidance of the other players. In addition to being an awesome player on the court, the times she was not on the court, she was a huge asset on the sideline. After every set or during time-outs, she was always the first person to be giving the players high-fives as they came off the court. She frequently lost her voice cheering on her fellow teammates, especially during the more challenging games. This athlete showed her love and passion for her team and the sport of volleyball every single day this season. We would like to present Ugne B. ’23 with the Emma Willard Sportsmanship Award.
 
Coaches Award: Tina Q. ’22
This person had been a leader from day one. To no one's surprise, when you have two staff members turned coaches last minute, some player guidance is needed. This player jumped in with kindness and without hesitation to not only guide our early practices, but support us in knowing the team's traditions so that everyone playing on Varsity could have a good experience even with the new coaching staff. She made suggestions without judgement or criticism and is an advocate and voice for every player on the team. She has a FIERCE passion for the game. Even with this ferocity and her competitive spirit, she took time to support fellow team members to make sure they were playing their best. Whether that meant a quick pep talk or a bit of encouraging guidance, she made sure to make everyone feel like they could perform their best. This spirit of ferocity and team leadership was displayed clearly in one particular moment when she wasn't even playing for our varsity team. As the "pseudo-coach" and last set player during our JV vs. Varsity scrimmage, this athlete proved that no matter whose team she was on, she was in 100%. And by this point, I am sure we all know who this athlete is and how incredibly loud she cheered when her JV team claimed Victory over our Varsity squad. The Coaches' award goes to Tina Q. ’22.  

Congratulations to all of our athletes on their long-awaited return to the playing fields, courts, and boat house. In addition, Emma Willard School would like to extend a very special thank you to everyone who worked behind the scenes to support our athletes this Fall. 

Join us in wishing our Winter athletes a safe and successful season as the Winter sports season kicks off tonight. Go Jesters!
    • Badminton

    • Crew

    • Cross Country

    • Tennis

    • JV Field Hockey

    • Varsity Field Hockey

    • JV Soccer

    • Varsity Soccer

    • JV Volleyball

    • Varsity Volleyball


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