South Western tennis head coach Kristen Meyer remembers the feeling she had this season after her team squandered its 3-2 lead by losing both doubles matches and falling to Dallastown, 4-3.
She knew the manner in which her team responded would ultimately define their season.
Senior leadership and a coaching staff that believed in its players helped re-energize the Mustangs as they finished the season 10-3 overall and 6-1 in YAIAA Division I.
"I think it was a very pivotal point," Meyer said. "It was heart-wrenching losing to Dallastown because we had the lead after singles and we lost it. I felt like I should have played it differently, and the players struggled a little, but we were able to turn that pivotal point into a positive."
South Western experienced tremendous success in the postseason, as well. For the second year in a row it was an all-Mustang championship match as junior Quin Meyer and senior Anthony Miserendino squared off. It was a match Miserendino would eventually win, for the second straight year.
Meyer was faced with mixed emotions heading into the championship match. She was elated because, as a coach, you want your players to be successful, and having an all-South Western final showed they were successful. But it also means that one of your players is going to lose. To complicate things even more, it was the second straight year that one of Meyer's sons was in the championship match. Last year it was her son Mack, and this year her son Quin.
Despite the fact that both of them fell to Miserendino, Meyer still felt like she had a son win.
"I feel like Anthony is one of my sons because I have known him for so long," she said. "It is hard because you want the best match, and that's what I wanted. It was interesting. All I wanted them to do was to play the tennis they can play and do their best, and I felt like they all did a great job out there."
This was the third year in a row that the Mustangs have had the YAIAA Class AAA champion. Miserendino won the past two years, and Tommy Nicklas won it three years ago.
"I am not sure if I do anything special or anything more than any of the other coaches do," Meyer said regarding her teams' success. "We just have very hardworking kids who want to be just as good as the players were the year before."
All five of South Western's singles players' made it to the YAIAA tournament, and freshman Ben Sentz, the Mustangs No. 4 singles player, made it to the quarterfinals and defeated No. 6 overall seed Hunter Brown from Central York.
"Ben came in as a freshman and really helped us out," Meyer said. "Michael played (No.) 3 for us and had a lot of very challenging matches, and he worked through them. Joe Harrison was our No. 5, and I used to call him the old man on our team. He was a nice No. 5. He was very consistent and a very smart player."
After experiencing so much success in the past three seasons, Meyer only has one thought.
"It has been an honor to have the amount of success we have had recently," she said. "Hopefully we will have a repeat next year."