By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
The Milton girls tennis team enjoyed a resurgent year in 2012, while also becoming a team that finally had to be reckoned with.
Two key cogs in the Black Panthers' progression into a winning program this season were senior Megan Rudloff and Aaron Slusser -- The Daily Item's Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively.
n Player of the Year
Rudloff, a second-team All-Star a year ago, went 12-6 on the season at No. 1 singles to lead all area players in victories.
"Megan had an awesome year and I'm really happy for her. I wish she had a few more years of high school left," said Slusser. "When you break down her record a little more, Megan's success becomes even more impressive.
"Two of her three losses came to Maggie Manchester of Williamsport (who I think was undefeated), and three of her six losses came early in the season," added Slusser. "All of her losses came to players who advanced in the district singles tournament, and she was never shut out in a set in a match that she lost."
In addition, Rudloff advanced to the second round of the District 4 singles tournament as well as into round two of the doubles tournament with fellow All-Star, Dana Kyle.
But if you ask Rudloff, the moment of the season that she enjoyed the most came when Milton shut out Shikellamy 5-0 in a conference match on Sept. 5.
In the match, Rudloff bested Tiara Bartol, herself an All-Star performer this year, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.
"The season was rewarding, challenging and enjoyable at all times," said Rudloff. "One of the highlights of the season was when we swept (Shikellamy). That was so awesome because I think that was the first time in Milton girls tennis history that each varsity player won in the same match."