The Slippery Rock University tennis season is set to begin this weekend.
With a roster that only lost one senior to graduation, head coach Matt Meredith is optimistic about this season.
“We finally have some depth, we have some seniors on the team. We have been very young and are starting to mature,” Meredith stated. “We have a lot of depth this year, and I am looking for improvement and getting us back up to where I think our program should be.”
Meredith thinks experience and increased fitness will improve this year’s team.
“One thing we are going to improve on is our physical fitness,” Meredith said. “We intimated a program to help that and I think it will pay off dividends for us, it will definitely help what we are going to do.”
A strength for this year’s team will be the depth; it has four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.
The team will be led by juniors Nina Barbano and Carla Corrochano Moracho. Barbano finished singles play last year at 17-10. Corrochano Moracho finished last year’s singles play at 14-10.
“Leadership and them playing down and having the experience they’ve had the two years, I think they are going to do phenomenal,” Meredith stated about his expectations for the two juniors.
The Slippery Rock tennis team welcomes freshman Lacey Cohen of Fox Chapel to the team this year.
“Lacey definitely is going to be an impact for us. She has a high tennis I.Q. and I think you are going to see in the next four years we have a phenomenal player here,” Meredith said. “She really fits in with what we are doing with the rest of the team and it’s going to be fun to have her on the team.”
Meredith says he plans to play Cohen at the one spot for singles play and move Corrochano Moracho and Barbano down to the two and three spots.
“There shouldn’t be a lot of change, I think one doubles team changes, but I think my other two teams are going to stay the same because they have some chemistry and history with each other. It’s only a matter of who’s playing one, and I think I have that solved. It’s probably going to be Lacey (Cohen) and Carla (Corrochano Moracho), but nothing’s definite yet,” Meredith added about the doubles pairings.
The tennis team travels to Oberlin, Ohio this weekend for the first of two tournaments. Their second tournament starts Sept. 17 in Erie, with the first home match of the season on Sept. 24 against West Liberty University.