Long Time Friendship Saves Tennis Team

by Nick Crispino - As students and faculty enjoyed the last days of summer in August, Director of Athletics, Susan Cassidy-Lyke had a problem. The women's tennis team did not have a head coach to call their own. The answer came in the form of a long-time friendship between Senior tennis player Nikki Gloria and Victor Caraballo. "She asked if I wanted to coach and she was really aggressive about," said Caraballo.  Within the same day of submitting his application, Caraballo received a phone call to come in for an interview with Cassidy-Lyke. When asked about the meeting, Caraballo said, "we had a conversation and liked where we were going and I said okay." This isn't Caraballo's first go around coaching, he has been involved in teaching the sport for nineteen years.
      In recent times, Caraballo has been working as a Head Coach for the Marymount Schools Varsity Tennis Squad and at NYU-Polytechnic Institute. Caraballo has brought a new attitude to a team that finished an overall record of 6-9 in the 2012 season. In the first meeting with the team, Caraballo told the girls, "will have our feet in the ground and head towards the sky and will get it done." Having success with other schools, Caraballo has high expectations and hopes to compete for an East Coast Conference title. He believes everyone is improving and can only get stronger as the season goes on. "I think we have great potential," said Carabolla. "This team is going in the right direction and whatever challenges they face they're overcoming."
      One such example Coach Carabolla gave for over coming a challenge was when senior Megan Lawless was down in the tie-break, 1-8, against Caldwell College and came back to win it, 11-9. Carabolla is also impressed with freshman transfer student Stephanie Rances, seniors Gabrielle DiCroce and Gloria, stating, "they have a gung-ho and willing to do whatever it takes attitude."  The Molloy Lions started off 1-3 but have won back-to-back games, bringing their record to 3-3. The East Coast Conference also awarded Molloy College senior, Tatiana Rajaona, to the Week Two Honor Roll this past Monday. Rajaona helped the Lions get a win over Le Moyne College, winning in both singles and doubles. Even though Coach Carabolla will be staying at NYU-Polytechnic, he is glad he took the job at Molloy. Describing the atmosphere of the team, Carabolla said, "They've a unity that they didn't have last year and a renewed spirit that continues to move forward." The Lions next competition is the ITA East Region Tournament in Philadelphia.