After seeing her sister Alexandra win three consecutive titles, Our Lady of Mercy’s Daniella Cucci now has a three-peat of her own.
Daniella Cucci and her first doubles partner Kerry Ellis took first place after going 6-0 in the CHSAA Girls Badminton Doubles Tournament on Monday at St. John the Baptist.
Alexandra Cucci, who is two years older than her sister, won the title from 2014-16 and was in attendance.
“Her facial expressions I could see from afar some of the times I messed up, it was a lot of pressure,” Daniella Cucci, who has won three straight championships, said. “When I was freshman and she was a junior, she took me under her wing and for tryouts. She told me what I have to do and she worked very hard to help me get to where I am now. She said this was badminton boot camp.”
Cucci and Ellis’ final win came against St. Mary’s, who they had kept score for earlier.
“It was nerve-wracking and to see them dominating the court just made us nervous,” Ellis said. “We were really excited so we wanted to make sure we were just on our game and going for bigger shots and just doing more risky things. And just making sure when we are hitting our smashes we are hitting them hard, we are trying different angles and just pulling out all the stops for that game. We were just really supporting each other and it was great.
“It was great to have her last game with me on that court against our best competition and she recorded the last point,” Ellis said of Cucci. “Just to see that in her last badminton match was really special.”
The duo, who finish 17-1 to end the season, also know each other from playing together on the volleyball team.
The victory concludes Ellis’ first year on varsity.
“I’ve never played at that level before, and just to play at that caliber and win in that kind of setting with all those great people around me was amazing,” she said.
In the individual championships, Katie Maguire of St. John the Baptist took first place in first singles completing the round-robin tournament at 4-0 on Tuesday. Maguire was named CHSAA Player of the Year after finishing the season 15-1.
“It feels good,” Maguire said on her first title. “It was a little tiring, but I worked through it.”