The 39th-ranked Slippery Rock University women’s tennis team claimed two doubles wins and three singles wins to get a win over 47th-ranked University of Charleston (W. Va.) in a battle of nationally ranked NCAA Division II rivals.
The loss suffered by University of Charleston was only its third in 21 matches this season. The Golden Eagles, the No. 4 team in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Associaton regional ranking, won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship last fall.
The win in the final match on The Rock’s spring-break schedule gave them a 10-2 record in dual matches as they head back home after their annual spring break trip in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Senior Sarah Lynch said that SRU, which is ranked third in the latest ITA regional poll, is ready for the remainder of the season and to try to win the PSAC-West.
“The trip was a good way for us to transition our games into outdoor playing style,” Lynch said. “We all came together as a team when we played our matches which was really awesome to see.”
Sarah Lynch earned a No. 21 national ranking and a No. 2 regional ranking as a singles player. The top 20 nationally ranked players at the end of the season will earn ITA All-America honors.
Lynch said that even though it is an honor to be ranked this high nationally, her ultimate goal is All American.
“I think it’s an honor to even reach this spot, but I am shooting for All American,” Lynch said. “I would be proud to represent myself as an All American graduate from Slippery Rock.”
The Rock returns to the courts March 24 for an 8 a.m. home match against Case Western Reserve University, which will be their final tune up game before starting their PSAC conference schedule against Clarion University.
Fine-tuning is something Lynch said she thinks her teammates have already done heading into their tough conference schedule.
“It looks like we are in great shape when it comes to our upcoming matches,” Lynch said. “Everyone has fine tuned their games and I am confident in my team to show up to every single match with their games faces on.”
Junior Janelle Krantz said that she also believes that it takes a strong team to win and after their undefeated record during spring break, they’re posed and ready to make a run at the PSAC West title.
“We have high goals to achieve this year,” Krantz said. “Spring break gives us the match play experience we all need to get ready for division matches.”
SRU didn’t make many changes to their roster, so they’re hoping that veteran leadership and experience will prevail during tough matches.
With Clarion, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and 11th ranked California University of Pennsylvania standing in their way of a PSAC West title, Krantz said that a close bonded team will be the difference in their title run down the stretch.
“I think as a team we grow closer and stronger each year,” Krantz said. “It takes a team to win and we are all playing very well following spring break.”