Elena Cadet dies in car accident

2009 Monte Vista grad reknowned for her tennis

Elena Cadet, a 2009 graduate of Monte Vista High, died in a car accident over the weekend.

She was well known in the area for her prowess on the tennis court. She was named All-League for four years and led the Mustangs to two titles in the East Bay Athletic League.

She is the daughter of Vicky and Steve Cadet of Diablo. She was currently attending UC Riverside. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Ms. Cadet's friend Gordon Nash, who attends University of San Diego, has contributed this write-up in her memory:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Elena Cadet Blog.

There are those people in your life who really don't have a huge impact. At least, not one you recognize. For the most part, you really don't think much about them, unless you happen to be right smack in front of each other- passing in the halls, or waiting in line. But it's like the Counting Crows said- you just don't know what you've got, until it's gone. Elena Cadet is dead. She is that person. Was that person.

It's weird. It's hard to explain, to describe how I feel right now. I can't say we were close. I can't even justly say that we were friends- acquaintances, more like. But somehow, I feel a certain, surprising amount of sobriety as I sit here, stunned, somewhat in awe of how quickly someone can be gone and how much it can affect you.

For someone so... I don't want to say inconsequential. I think a metaphor conveys it best- movies have stars, and they've got supports. The star gets the glory. The supports make them great. Nobody notices the support, though. That is, nobody notices them until they're gone. Then, you realize. Then, you actually begin to understand what an integral part of your life they've been- be it your past, present, or future.

I knew two Elenas (Eleni)? One I saw during school every day, in the passing hall that was always either blustery and cold, or cool and breezy- but always uncomfortable. I preferred to walk through there really only because it was usually the shortest path to class. In hindsight, I realize there were two things that made that corridor bearable in the slightest: first, passing by the cafeteria doors, which blasted warm air into the frigid hall; two, the smile and wave I would get from Elena every single day. It's not something you really notice past simply smiling back and continuing on your way- but when its one of two memories you really can lucidly recall, its a bit of a big deal.

The other, I saw after school. When I think Elena, I think of a girl walking down from the locker rooms with her tennis gear on. Walking, not striding or running or skipping- just a plain old walk, every day, as we crossed paths on the way to track and tennis, smiled at each other, and that was it. That was Elena Cadet. That's the one I know.

So it seems silly to say that I'm affected any more than a standard pay-your-respects and go. But there's just something disconcerting about it all- why her? I could think of a million people to die before she. They say the nice guys finish last, but die first? I didn't know her much more than that smile. That smile was a better one than mine, though. You could see so much of her in it. There aren't many people who can smile at everyone and mean it every single time. There was something special about it. You could tell exactly who she was inside.

So why her? God must need a few more angels up there. He must not have been able to wait. He must have regretted sending her down in the first place, because without her in the kingdom, it must have been pretty normal- not stupendous, just normal. There are some people who just belong up there. I guess God just couldn't wait.

Good luck, Elena Cadet. I can't say I'll truly miss you as many others can, but I do know that the world is missing something great now.



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Posted by Susan
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Elena was one of the most amazing people I've ever met. I played tennis tournaments with her almost every weekend, and always looked forward to seeing her and her mother, Vicky. Both were very cheerful and enthusiastic making my tournament experience all the more fun. There was no instance where Elena wasn't smiling, even if she was infuriated about an opponent she played. She seemed to know how to turn everyone's frown upside down and spirits were lifted just being in her presence. Knowing Elena for as long as I have has made me extremely grateful for being able to be lucky enough to be in her presence. She was such a sweet, giving person with a bubbly personality that everyone will always remember. I, and the tennis community love you so much, Elena Cadet. You and your family are in my prayers and I hope to one day see you again.

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Posted by Melissa
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Nov 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm

We love you Elena

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Posted by Nadia
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I went to college with Elena at the University of California, Riverside. I only knew her for 3 months, but spent almost everyday with her. She was an awesome girl and always had a smile on her face. She was an extremely hard worker and had a lot of determination. Our whole team truly misses her and things will not be the same. RIP Elena Cadet.

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Posted by Amanda Cross
a resident of Danville
on Nov 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm

i went to middle school with Elena. I will never forget how beautifully she sang "Please, Mr. Postman." That is truly one memory I will always remember from Los Cerros. But also of Elena. I was truly shocked when i found out. I wasn't that close to her anymore, but there was a time i talked to her everyday and she will most definitely be missed... rest in peace Elena.

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Posted by Heather Sweeney
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 23, 2009 at 8:09 pm

I have known Elena since she was six years old, and I've spent Christmas with the Cadet family for the last 7 years. Elena is my little sister. She was a shy, young girl when I would babysit her at our brother's baseball games. Elena and I sang together at out family gatherings and I watched her voice grow stronger and her musical range increase. Elena taught herself to play the guitar and did the most beautiful acoustic versions of well known songs.

Elena was the definition of an angel, she was innocent and kind-hearted without a cruel thought in her head. She is the baby of the family and the baby of our blended family. Everyone doted on Elena and we all came home for her high school graduation this past summer. The loss of Elena is too great for words. She dominated on the tennis court and endeared herself to everyone off the court. The UC Riverside Tennis is suffering the loss of an incredible team player and competitor.

I love you Elena, you will forever be young and vibrant, and beautiful.

Only the good die young.

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Posted by Monte Vista student
a resident of Danville
on Nov 23, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Elena was the nicest person I have ever met, and I hope she is in a better place now

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Posted by Kathy Dillingham
a resident of Danville
on Nov 23, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I did not know Elena but I want to say I am so, so sorry to her family, friends, team members and former Monte Vista High school friends. It feels unfair to lose someone so young. So premature. I just want you to know that there are many extending their love to you in your time of sorrow and loss. I also hope that the many good memories of her will, in time, ease your heart.

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Posted by Christine Battles
a resident of Danville
on Nov 23, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I did not have the privilege of knowing this beautiful person, Elena Cadet, but since her death, I have heard so many of her friends and acquaintances speak of her with so much genuine love. I wish she was someone I could have known. As her friend above stated, God must have needed another angel beside him. My heart goes out to Elena's family and friends - may God be with you and keep you strong. I am sure that Elena would want you to perservere and to give each other as much support as possible, to lean on each other and to always keep Elena's memory alive.

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Posted by Sandra
a resident of Danville
on Nov 23, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Lindsay - sadly, tragedy brings out all kinds of people with mental health disorders - hence the comments you reference. Clearly this girl was highly thought of by many - don't let the off balanced minority bring you down.

In the future, when people who apparently are off their antipsychotic meds post things such as the two above, you can just click on "report objectionable behavior" and the DW staff sees it and erases the post.

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Posted by Megan
a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Nov 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I've gone to school with Elena since kindergarten. It's so surreal to think that she is gone. Elena, your time on Earth was short, but you touched the heart of so many people. We all miss you so much. I'm praying for your family every day and I hope someday I'll get to be with you again in Heaven. Love you!

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Posted by Debra Kelley-Davis
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 23, 2009 at 11:12 pm

I watched Elena grow up before my eyes. Her brother was best friends with my younger brother Ian. She was such a beautiful spirit. When I would come back to Diablo to visit, Elena babysat my daughter. She loved to hang out with her. When she was young, we would pay her one dollar just to hear her sing. She will truly be missed and though it hurts, I know she is in the arms of the angels, just like she was. RIP forever Elena!

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Posted by non-resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm

non-resident is a registered user.

My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
Garret Conklin

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Posted by Jay Potter
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2009 at 7:49 am

Jay Potter is a registered user.

My daughter and I were shocked and deeply saddened when we heard the terrible news. Elena played several USTA matches in singles and doubles against my daughter and they were on the same 16's USTA Zonals team that went to Utah representing Nor Cal. My daughter always spoke very highly of her and I always enjoyed watching her play. Elena was a beautiful girl and a great player. She always gave 100% effort and was a real competitor. This is such a tragedy, a real loss to our entire community, and our hearts, prayers, and condolences go out to Elena's family. Please let us know when the services will be held.

Jay and Ayla Potter

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Posted by Alan
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Alan is a registered user.

I only recently met Elena, and yet I feel the time was all too brief. Elena was an extremely kind and considerate person, and yet she was also a fierce competitor. I watched her compete in what turned out to be her first and last collegiate tournament. In the first round, she faced the #1 seed who went on to win the tournament. Elena lost the first set 3-6, but she kept fighting, and had two set points before losing the second set 5-7. While she was disappointed after the loss, her focus was on the things that she was going to work on so that she would win the next meeting with that opponent.

My thoughts are with Elena's family, friends, and teammates.

The memorial will be on Friday. Details are available at the UCR women's tennis page: Web Link

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Posted by rajan
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2009 at 9:37 pm

rajan is a registered user.

My wife and I were shocked to hear of Elena's death. Our daughter had played Elena a few times in different tournaments. As my wife always pointed out she was one of the nicest person we met on the tennis circuit, always with a smile on her face. Our heart goes out to the family. May she rest in peace

The Raghavans

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Posted by candace
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Nov 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm

candace is a registered user.

when I heard of elenas death I didnt even know what to think. She was the nicest most kind person I think I really knew through high school. We had Art together when she was a sophomore and I was a junior and she just always knew how to make us all laugh. She had such great talent in everything she did however she never gloated about it. I rememeber someone brought up the fact that she was so good in tennis and all she said was yeah I guess. She never liked to brag. And the following years we didnt talk as much due to the fact we had no classes together but no matter what, she always made sure to flash you a smile and wave in the halls.
Im not sure I ever met someone as genuinly nice and sweet as she was. I will always remember her for that. my sorrow is to all of her family.
may she rest in peace.
Elena Cadet. Always going to be missed. But never forgotten.

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