Slippery Rock women’s tennis headed into Indiana, Pennsylvania looking to take down the University of Charleston in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Despite losing 8-1 a little under a month ago to Charleston, the Green and White did not let the past phase them, as they gave the 4 seed in the Atlantic Division a run for their money.
Slippery Rock initially struggled to get going at first and the young team found themselves down early by a score of 3-0, dropping each of the three doubles matches.
Rock Tennis’ no. 1 duo of sophomore Lacey Cohen and senior Carla Corrochano Moracho fell to Charleston’s Katie Swann and Elise Edwards by a score of 8-2. Silvana Slusarciuc and Kristine Gegeshidze defeated The Rock’s young duo of freshman Olivia Warner and sophomore Viola Lugmayr by a score of 8-2 as well. Freshman Lauren Fadden and Junior Allie Welch started to swing the momentum in Slippery Rock’s favor by battling Alize Uyttenhove and Bridget Dillon to the very end. After a back and forth match, Uyttenhove and Dillon ultimately secured the victory by a score of 8-6.
After losing all 3 doubles matches, Rock Tennis began to show the resilience that has been so evident in the young team all season long. Instead of losing hope and rolling over, the women in green and white put forth their best fight in an inspiring comeback bid.
Allie Welch dominated her singles match, taking care of Alize Uyttenhove, winning each set 6-1. After Welch gave The Rock their first point of the day, Charleston put the deficit back to 3 after Kristine Gegeshidze defeated Carla Corrochano Moracho by a score of 6-0, 6-1.
Slippery Rock promptly turned up the pressure on Charleston to close the match out after winning the next two matches, nearly erasing the lead altogether and putting the score to 4-3 in Charleston’s favor.
Lauren Fadden took down Bridget Dillon in straight sets with scores of 6-1, 6-3 and Viola Lugmayr went back and forth Elise Edwards, losing the first set 6-1, but came on strong when it mattered winning the last two sets, 6-1 and 6-4, effectively giving The Rock its third point of the day.
After battling back and cutting Charleston’s lead to one point, Silvana Slusarciuc closed the book on Slippery Rock’s season. The Green and White did not go down without a fight though, Olivia Warner battled hard, narrowly losing both sets by scores of 7-6, 6-4. The match secured the victory for Charleston, with a final score of 5-3.
Slippery Rock Tennis ended their season with an overall record of 13-13. Although losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, this will prove to be a valuable learning experience for the young team. The team will retain all its players for next year, except for Carla Corrochano Moracho, who will graduate this spring. Five of seven players on the roster were underclassmen as well, giving hope for a bright, successful future for Slippery Rock women’s tennis.