The Slippery Rock University tennis team began its team season with a 9-0 win Wednesday, blanking Westminster College.
Coming off two back-to-back weekends of tournament play, the team looked forward to getting back outside and began its season on a high note. SRU head coach Matt Meredith thought his team had a great performance in its first match of the year.
“I thought we did very well,” Meredith said. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start coming out, because we played indoors all weekend and getting back outside was huge for us.”
The SRU team consisted of six starters, some continuing their careers and others just beginning theirs. The starters consisted of juniors Tiffany Kollah and Kylee Woodman, sophomores Nina Barbano and Carla Corrochano Moracho, and freshmen Amanda Bruscemi and Allie Welch.
The team began the match off with doubles, and ended up sweeping in each of those match-ups.
Barbano and Corrochano Moracho bested Mariah Turiano and Christijana Vucenovic, 8-2.
Bruscemi and Woodman then produced an 8-3 victory over Stephanie Homitz and Sydney Sterner.
Kollah and Welch rounded out the sweep of doubles play with an 8-1 victory against Molly Somora and Patricia Pivaronas.
“My biggest takeaway was our second sets in all of our matches,” Meredith said “I really wanted us to pick up our intensity, and once we did that we took care of business and the match was decided then.”
In playing a dual match, getting those first three points from doubles is a huge advantage. Coach Meredith would love for his team to excel in doubles, but also perform well in singles.
“Getting those first three points in doubles pretty much sets the match,” Meredith said. “We work a lot on doubles so we can get off to a good start, but we want to pick up in singles.”
Barbano and Welch excelled in singles play with shutout victories in their matches. Corrochano Moracho and Kollah had close first sets, but then settled down to win (7-6, 6-0) / (7-5, 6-1).
Woodman won her match with ease (6-1, 6-0), and Bruscemi got the first win of her collegiate career by a score of 6-1, 6-1.
Coach Meredith has seen many improvements in his team since the beginning of the season.
“I’ve definitely seen a lot of improvement,” Meredith said. “This past weekend we played a lot of tennis, and they definitely gained a lot of experience and this helped out our top six tremendously.”
Getting a match in before their next regional match-up this upcoming weekend, was a great warm-up for the team.
“I wanted us to have a match before this weekend, so we could build up some confidence,” Meredith said. “This match helped us out big time, we needed to get some experience and prepare for our match this weekend against West Lib.”
The Rock Tennis team will travel to West Liberty this Sunday for a 12 p.m. regional match-up, its first regional match of their season.