It was another landmark year for Coach Girardi's squad in 2020. Despite the shortened season that plagued all spring sports across the country the members of St Petersburg tennis program made quite the impression with their efforts on the court. St Petersburg women tennis program was named the 4th overall spot in the country in the final rankings.
On the top five finish, Head Coach Phil Girardi noted that result in itself didn't tell the whole story " The fourth place finish nationally was bittersweet as the team was on their way to a victory against Broward (#3) when the rain came in and the match did not count. The team also played ASA Miami (#2) to a 4-5 finish and was looking forward to their second meeting that didn't happen". Despite the rather unlucky breaks, Coach Girardi does believe the squad achieved their goal of being the best team they could be.
In addition to the team honor, the pair of Naomi McKenzie and Elizaveta Mova finished third in doubles while McKenzie was named as the 6th overall player for singles matches in the same NJCAA vote. Under normal circumstances both of these student athletes would undoubtedly qualify for All American awards – and still will- if the NJCAA and ITA decide to hold award votes and procedures.
Naomi McKenzie has made quite the impression on Girardi despite being in her first year in the program. McKenzie was undefeated in singles play and was set to be named team captain before the season was abruptly ended by COVID-19. Coach Girardi lauds McKenzie's talent and what she means to the program, stating "Naomi has the qualities in a great player that transcends her talent to be a positive leader on the team". Naomi looks to continue to improve athletically and pursue a major in criminology.
Elizaveta Mova dominated the doubles matches right alongside McKenzie this spring with her height and net playing ability. The freshman Psychology major always had the tools to perform at the level seen in 2020, yet Girardi noted her biggest improvement was the attitude and mentality to not only play freely but dominate. With a 9-1 record in their first years, it is safe to say both McKenzie and Mova did exactly that.