Entering the 2017-2018 campaign, Coach Meredith and a revamped, young tennis team looked to improve upon an overall record of 9-11, with a 2-4 record in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West action.
With a 4-win improvement this season, a PSAC Tournament appearance and NCAA Tournament appearance, it is evident that this season laid the foundation for future success.
Finishing the season with an overall record of 13-13 (4-2 PSAC West), Coach Meredith saw several improvements with this year’s squad. “The best example I could give is our last match,” Meredith said. “We came out flat in doubles and lost all three matches. We could have easily given up and lost that match 5-0. But everyone, especially the young kids on the team, stayed in the match.”
Along with Coach Meredith, junior Allie Welch was encouraged by some positive change in this year’s team as well. “This year’s team had much better chemistry and I feel like practices were much more fun this year. Overall, everyone was much more encouraging and it was a lot more motivating,” Welch said.
The chemistry of this team showed this year, as the young team never gave up on any match this season. This was especially evident on the biggest stage Rock Tennis was placed on this year, which was the NCAA Tournament match against Charleston. Coach Meredith was pleased to see the fight in his young team. “The game against Charleston really showed me the character of what we have coming back next year,” Meredith said.
Slippery Rock will most certainly have a solid core of experienced players next season, with 7 of 8 athletes returning for next season. Unfortunately, the team will lose their star and leader, Carla Corrochano Moracho who became the 10th player in program history to reach the milestone of 100 career wins. Although Corrochano Moracho is the only senior leaving the program, replacing an athlete of her caliber can be quite the challenge. “It’s always hard to replace seniors, we can never truly replace them,” Meredith said. “She had a great career, worked hard, she’ll be missed, she’s one of the few in the history of Slippery Rock to reach 100 wins”.
Looking forward to next season, Coach Meredith wants to set the tone for next season and build upon this season’s success. “Our goals are what they always have been. We want to do very well in the conference if not win it, and to consistently make NCAA regionals each year.” Meredith said. “Aside from that, we need to mature a little more as a team, and just improve our overall performance next year.”
After an impressive season from Rock Tennis, there is no reason to doubt the Green and White’s potential next year. Returning seven of eight athletes and bringing in a talented recruit from England is an encouraging sign for Rock Tennis’ bright future.