Crimson Hawks sink talons into Rock

Brittany Fagan, Rocket Contributor
April 3, 2014

The Slippery Rock women’s tennis team (9-9, 2-2 PSAC) had a busy past few days out on the courts.

The ladies faced division rivals Indiana University of Pennsylvania (11-5, 4-0 PSAC) on the home courts Wednesday evening where they were defeated 7-2.

The Rock played three doubles teams and six singles teams.

Senior Nikolina Grbac was teamed with senior Sarah Joumond for the first doubles team and senior Lauren Coggins and freshman Kylee Woodman made up the second team.

Sophomore Courtney Gallagher and freshman Stephanie Fortier made up the final doubles team.

The third doubles team was the only Slippery Rock doubles team to contribute to the final match score against IUP.

“We definitely faced a tough team on Wednesday,” head coach Matthew Meredith said. “Everyone brought their best efforts to the court and it really showed at the end of the match.”

The Rock’s doubles teams faced tougher competition in this match but they’re still looking to improve and score more. The six girls in the doubles teams also played singles against the Crimson Hawks.

Sarah Joumond won her singles with scores of 4-6, 6-4 and 10-2. Stephanie Fortier displayed her dedication to the game by completing her singles match while immersed in frustration from pain in her lower back.

The ladies all stood by and cheered for Fortier as she finished her game.

Nikolina Grbac’s winning streak in singles was ended on Wednesday when she lost her match to a competitive Indiana player.

Her current spring record stands at 10-3 where her last loss took place on February 23 against St. Bonaventure.

“My season has been going very good so far. I started a little shaky with my first few matches at the beginning of the season, but I played and won many good matches since, which gave me a lot of confidence,” Grbac said. “For right now, I will take one match at a time, have fun with it, play good and smart, and I hope good results and more wins will come.”

The ladies also have two recent wins under their belts from both Clarion and Edinboro on Monday afternoon.

The Rock traveled to Clarion University to finish a match that was postponed due to inclement weather.

There they defeated the Crimson Hawks 6-0. After this match the team traveled back to Slippery Rock where they faced Edinboro University on the outdoor courts.

SRU defeated the Fighting Scots 5-4 making it their second win in the conference.

Coach Meredith mentioned that this was his first time ever having an away and home match all in one day.

“It’s always challenging to go out and play two matches in one day, but as a team we were mentally and physically ready for a long day at the courts,” Grbac said.

With unpredictable weather this spring, the team is prepared to handle what comes along with it.

The Green and White will host NCAA Division II Atlantic Region rival West Virginia State (12-5, 7-0 Atlantic) at noon on Saturday followed by region rival Charleston in an 11 a.m. match on Sunday.

The Yellow Jackets are currently riding a five game losing streak coming into the match against SRU.

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