Ellie LoPiccolo receives Montclair Kimberley Academy’s ‘Captain’s Award’

Ellie LoPiccolo beams as she holds her ‘Captain’s Award’ from Montclair Kimberley Academy. MKA athletic director Todd Smith poses with her.

MONTCLAIR, NJ —0The Montclair Kimberley Academy “Captain’s Award” is given out each season to the male or female captain who has exhibited the qualities that is shown in team captains – leadership, dedication, respect, work ethic and being a role model, both on and off the field and courts, to their teammates and peers. 

All MKA fall sport varsity head coaches have the ability to nominate one of their current captains for the award and then those nominees are discussed in a meeting that all fall sport varsity head coaches attend.

Cougar girls tennis senior co-captain Ellie LoPiccolo of Maplewood is the recipient of the prestigious 2023 fall season award at the Montclair private school.

“Ellie was always the first one to practice and often the last to leave,” said MKA veteran girls tennis coach Bill Wing. “She loved to compete in practice and was often the first one off the bench after water breaks to get the team back to work.

“On the court, she played with relentless determination, hustle and commitment and, once her match was finished, she was always there to give her teammates encouraging words and at times a shoulder to lean on during tough losses.

“She was such a responsible, trustworthy leader the coaches could always count on. She led by example in everything she did, on and off the court, and was instrumental in keeping the team together and united in their common pursuit of what became one of the best seasons in MKA girls tennis history.

“She is confident, loyal, fun and proactive … traits of a true leader.”

LoPiccolo combined with sophomore Lauren Chung to form a strong second doubles tandem for the 2023 MKA girls tennis team. And while MKA may not have captured the overall Non-Public team state championship after being edged 3-2 by archrival, Newark Academy, in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Non-Public, North state semifinals on Oct. 12, they won the Essex County Tournament championship for a third straight season, with Bloomfield’s Nina Abalos, who also won the county singles title, in addition to the NJSIAA state singles crown.

The Cougars finished with a fine 19-1 season in dual matches after defeating longtime rival Newark Academy, 3-2, on Oct. 24, in the final regular season match. The Montclair private school also clinched the Super Essex Conference–American Division title and finished the fall campaign by capturing the 2023 prep B tournament championship.

Photo Courtesy of Montclair Kimberley Academy