by Daniel Witke

Courtesy of MSMC Knights

The Mount Saint Mary Knights are proud to announce the hiring of Elora Benfer, the new Men’s and Women’s head tennis coach.

Benfer has nine years of coaching experience, acting as the assistant coach for the women’s team last year. Before that, she was a head pro at the Powelton Club.

Mount Saint Mary College and tennis have always played a role in her life. She attended Bishop Dunn Elementary School, and has been playing tennis since she was five. Benfer also attended Marlboro High School, where she played number one singles every year. In her high school career, she won the Mid-Hudson Athletic League Championships twice, and won a gold medal three times for her high school division.

After high school, Benfer accepted a Division I scholarship to play at Sienna, where she studied Marketing and Management. However, when she graduated, she wanted to return to the Mount.

“What really attracted me here was the strong tradition that the Mount has for providing a positive environment for student athletes and I am honored to get to be a part of this tradition,” said Benfer.

Last year, the Women’s team was 0-6 in their conference, and the Men’s team was 3-3 in theirs. Both teams had sub-par seasons, but Benfer believes she can make an immediate positive impact.

“By building a strong team atmosphere and having support from teammates, we will be able to get through any challenge we might face together,” Benfer added.

Benfer also believes a closer team environment will help lead to wins.

“When you are out there on the court by yourself, having your team at your back (and) cheering you on could be just the boost that you need to win the match,” said Benfer.

Benfer has some very strong players on both sides. Second Team selection Breanna Scott returns for her senior year on the Women’s team. The Men’s team welcomes two-star recruit Chris McGorty, who will likely make an immediate impact.

Benfer had the option to choose her assistant coaches. She chose Linnea Mowat and former pro-tennis player, Nick Hummel. By having different voices, Benfer plans on bringing out the absolute best in her players.

“We all bring something different to the table that will benefit both teams and contribute to a winning season,” said Benfer.

Both teams are projected to have much better seasons. However, Benfer admits tennis is so much more than wins and losses. In her first year, she wants to help give back to her community and help her players improve, anyway she can.