The Slippery Rock women’s tennis team has enjoyed a strong start to their season as well as veteran leadership that has propelled them to their fast start.
SRU started their tennis season in the fall and finished an impressive 5-0, and has a 6-2 overall record so far through their early spring schedule.
Although the Rock tennis team has lost two of its first three matches, head coach Matt Meredith said his team has played extremely hard.
“The two matches that we lost already this spring could have gone either way,” Meredith said. “We would have liked to play a little harder of course, but we definitely had our moments.”
SRU saw their undefeated season come to a halt with loses to both St. Bonaventure and Carnegie Mellon. The Rock’s first loss came at the hands of St. Bonaventure, 5-2, a team that head coach Meredith said is the best team they have seen so far.
“This year’s St. Bonaventure team was probably one of the best teams that I’ve seen them put out against us,” Meredith said. “However, I like to schedule tough competition for my team so that they know what to expect from me.”
Last Friday, SRU dominated Grove City College 9-0, their last game before The Rock heads down to Hilton Head, South Carolina for the annual southern spring break tournament. SRU will face key opponents, which will be crucial for the women’s tennis team to get wins against.
“We’re going to face some good teams while in South Carolina,” Meredith said. “The key for us is to get big wins while were down there and that will make us better and stronger going into our PSAC West schedule.”
After returning from their southern trip, SRU will begin a conference schedule that will prove to be difficult.
The Rock didn’t make many changes to their roster, so they’re hoping that veteran leadership and experience will prevail during tough matches.
“We have the same team as last year and we didn’t make a whole lot of changes to it,” Meredith said. “We’re hoping that experience and our strong veteran leadership will help us prevail down the stretch towards our goal of a PSAC West title.”
With Clarion, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and 11th ranked California University of Pennsylvania standing in their way of a PSAC West title, SRU senior Sarah Lynch knows that hard work will help them achieve their goals.
“So far this season we have played some really great teams,” Lynch said. “It has been a real eye opener to the amount of hard work we need to do in order to achieve our goals this season.”
Sarah Lynch, ranked 27th nationally, has used hard work and has embraced her style of tennis to achieve this ranking.
“A national ranking was never a true goal of mine, but it is a great honor to be ranked 27th in the nation,” Lynch said. “That is why I work so hard and another reason I would love to make it to nationals.”
SRU has a women’s tennis player who finished her career ranked 24th in the nation, and Sarah Lynch wants to finish her career at Slippery Rock University ranked higher than that.
“It took me three and a half years of college tennis to realize how much I really love this sport and I want to be a great player for myself, but also set an example for my teammates,” Lynch said. “I just want people to recognize that I love tennis and I want to reach being ranked 20th in the nation before my career is finished here.”
Lynch says she is also excited to get into the toughest part of their schedule as well as their spring break trip. She says this will really help evaluate where the team is at and where they need to improve.
“I am so excited to get into the climax of our season because everyone is eager to win,” Lynch said. “I think with the hard work everyone is putting into their conditioning and the effort we put into practice and on the court, we will achieve all the intended goals we have for ourselves.”