The Slippery Rock tennis team looks to improve this season, after finishing last year at a 10-11 mark. The team had not finished under .500 since the 2004-2005 campaign, in which they finished 6-11.
Coach Matt Meredith, entering his 18th season as head coach, looks for the team to be much stronger this year.
“Coming off one of the few losing seasons we’ve had in a long time, I’m looking to rebound and become a lot stronger,” Meredith said. “We should definitely have more depth, and I’m excited to get going this year.”
Coach Meredith has many options to choose from to pick his starters for this year, but believes most of them will be younger.
“This is still a rebuilding year,” Meredith said. “I started a lot of freshmen last year, and I’ll be starting the same this year.”
However, Meredith does have some upperclassmen that he is able to choose from, including the lone senior, Courtney Gallagher.
“It’s tough for her to get out to practice right now because of her education major,” Meredith said “Between her being in the field and going to class, this semester is really rough on her.”
The team has a strong class of juniors this year who he expects to step up and rise to the occasion. Meredith believes several players are in for a big year for his team.
Tiffany Kollah, a transfer student from Allegheny College, and a former North Allegheny standout sat out last season due to NCAA transfer policies.
“She’s a very strong player, and is going to help us out tremendously,” Meredith said.
Coach Meredith is also pleased with other newcomers.
“We also have a couple standout freshmen that have come in this year,” Meredith said “Amanda Bruscemi out of Montour High School, as well as a little bit of a surprise in Allie Welch out of Ohio.”
The team’s schedule consists of several tournaments, as well as some east coast matches mixed in.
Meredith is looking forward to the ITA Regional Tournament, which takes place in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“It gives me an understanding of what other teams have in our region,” Meredith said. “It’s the biggest tournament we go to period, and the winner of this advances on to the Small College National Championships. If we can get a shot at that which I don’t know that we do, but it’s always very prestigious tournament to get into.”
The team will begin its season at the PSAC Individual Championships, which take place Sept. 12-13 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.