The Slippery Rock University tennis team fell to 0-2 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play, losing 9-0 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Sunday before rebounding for a non-conference win versus Grove City on Monday.
The IUP loss was the Rock’s third straight. IUP (9-3, 3-0), ranked second in the Atlantic region and 32nd nationally, jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the doubles matches, losing only five games in the process.
The best match of the day was at number one singles, where SRU freshman Carla Corrochano Moracho pushed the match to three sets, before losing in the third to drop the match.
Head coach Matt Meredith likes the way the team is competing and showing effort.
“We competed well against IUP,” Meredith said. “They are number 32 in the country for a reason. They are very good.”
Meredith is also impressed with Corrochano Moracho’s individual play.
“Carla is playing very well,” Meredith said. “Her opponent was very good, and Carla almost beat her.”
SRU (6-7, 0-2) snapped their three-game losing streak with an 8-1 win over Grove City (8-6).
The Green and White took a 2-1 lead after the doubles matches.
All three matches were close and competitive. Corrochano Moracho and fellow freshman Nina Barbano won 8-4, while the team of junior Courtney Gallagher and freshman Ana Petrovic won 8-5.
The only loss of the day came at number three doubles, as sophomore Stephanie Fortier and freshman Anna Carpenter dropped a close 9-7 decision.
SRU dominated the singles matches. After Corrochano Moracho won at number one singles, when her opponent had to retire at 4-4 in the first set.
The Rock only dropped five games over the last five matches of the day.
Barbano and Fortier, at number two and four singles respectively, both won 6-0 and 6-0.
In number three singles and number five singles, Petrovic and Gallagher lost one game each. Sophomore Emily Munson rounded out the day with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
“It was good to get back on the winning side of things against Grove City,” Meredith said.
The road for Slippery Rock doesn’t get any easier. Almost every team remaining on their schedule has a winning record.
“Playing such a tough schedule is very beneficial for the team developmentally, regardless of wins and losses,” Meredith said. “We have a winning tradition here that we are looking to continue.”
With a current record of 6-7, Meredith is trying to avoid his first losing season since 2004-05.
That team was comprised of a lot of freshmen, just like this year’s squad.
After that last losing season, SRU went on to win an average of over 20 wins per season for the next five years. If that is any indication, the future looks bright for Rock tennis.
SRU’s next set of matches is Tuesday against Seton Hill University in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to take on the Griffins in PSAC play.