The Caesar Rodney Riders girls tennis team continued their dominance on the court this season, earning “Team of the Year” honors this season.
The Riders went undefeated once again in regular season play and captured their seventh straight Henlopen Conference title. CR also finished strong in the state championships taking home a first place finish along with two runner-up finishes.
Canderloro finished undefeated against all Henlopen Conference opponents for her career, taking home the 1st Singles Henlopen Championship in all four years of her high school career. She finished her season strong, coming in second-place in 1st Singles in the state championship.
While Canderloro came up short of her ultimate goal this year, she says this year was still special for a number of reasons.
“It was my senior year and I was able to make it back to the finals which was great,” said Canderloro. “Also having my friends playing with me was really special, it definitely made it easier to practice we’re all good friends so it’s been great to play with people you love to be around.”
Now, the tennis standout will take her talents to the University of Tennessee-Martin where she’ll play tennis next year. Canderloro says she’s learned a lot from her four years at Caesar Rodney, also from her teammates and coaches.
“My coaches have taught me to never give up and taught me the work ethic I have,” said Canderloro. “My teammates pushed me all the time so that has really prepared me for the next level.”
As Canderloro moves on from her time with this dynamic CR tennis program, she passes the torch to junior Sloan Barton. A year after falling in the 2nd Singles State Championship Finals, Barton returned to capture the title this season.
Now that she’s a state champion, Barton has had time to reflect on what she and her team have accomplished. And while she was able to find a measure of revenge this season, defeating Tower Hill’s Sydney Butler in the Finals after falling to her last year, Barton stayed humble.
“It feels really good to know I finally did it,” said Barton. “It always feels good to have everyone come up to you and congratulate you, but it’s nothing really more than that. I’m just happy to have the opportunity to get back to that point and succeed, no matter who it was against.”
Barton will now lead what will turn out to be a very large senior class for CR next season. Barton hopes to contribute more as a leader next season and help the Riders reach the same level of success they’ve been so accustom to lately.
“They’re all my friends, so I kind of just try and be there – play hard with and against them,” said Barton. “I hope I’ll be more of a leader next season since I’ll be a senior.”