The Slippery Rock University tennis team returned home for a pair of matches this week, losing both of them to drop to 5-6 on the season.
On Sunday, the Rock played host to Saginaw Valley State University (10-12), riding a four game winning-streak. SVSU put an end to SRU’s streak by defeating the Green and White by a score of 8-1.
The freshmen team of Carla Corrochano Moracho and Nina Barbano narrowly lost in number one doubles, 8-5, as Saginaw Valley swept the doubles matches to take a 3-0 lead.
Barbano recorded the only win of the day for the Rock in number two singles, winning a 6-3, 7-5 decision to improve her individual singles record to 8-5. This was her fourth straight singles win as she leads the squad in wins for the season.
“Nina is a tough, hard nosed Pittsburgh kid,” SRU head coach Matt Meredith said. “She is a solid player and is always going to be in her matches.”
Most of the matches were close and competitive matches, but the Green and White just couldn’t break through against SVSU. Corrochano Moracho lost a 6-3, 6-3 decision at number one singles, while freshman Ana Petrovic lost 6-2, 6-4 in number three singles.
SRU opened up Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) play on Tuesday against the Mercyhurst University Lakers. Mercyhurst (8-1) entered the contest ranked fourth in the Atlantic Region, while Slippery Rock was ranked seventh.
Corrochano Moracho and Barbano started the day off well for the Rock, winning an 8-6 decision in doubles. That moved their record to 6-7 as a team for the season.
Junior Courtney Gallagher and sophomore Stephanie Fortier lost a close 8-5 decision in number two doubles, while the duo of sophomore Emily Munson and Petrovic fell 8-1, giving Mercyhurst a 2-1 advantage after the doubles matches.
The best match of the day was at number one singles, where Corrochano Moracho and Saioa Gomez of Mercyhurst played a three set thriller. After splitting the first two sets with both players winning a 6-3 set, the two played an epic third set. Gomez outlasted Corrochano Moracho and took the set 13-11 to win the match.
Barbano lost for the first time in five matches (6-4, 6-3) at number two singles. The lone singles win for the Rock was by Fortier, who was winning her match in the first set when her opponent had to retire.
Meredith liked the way the team competed against Mercyhurst despite the loss.
“I thought the team played much better against Mercyhurst,” Meredith said. “We competed well, and we showed that we are capable of beating good teams that maybe we shouldn’t beat.”
Meredith also isn’t concerned about his team having a losing record at this point and believes his team is heading in the right direction.
“I am more concerned about improvement right now, and building on the winning tradition of Rock tennis,” Meredith said.
The Rock will try and break their two game losing streak on Monday when they travel to Grove City for a non-conference tilt, before resuming PSAC play versus Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Wednesday in Indiana, Pennsylvania.