The Slippery Rock University women’s tennis team wrapped up the first half of their 2017-18 season earlier this month when they defeated Bloomsburg University and Shippensburg University 9-0 in both meetings to improve their team record to 3-0 heading into their winter break.
To kick-off the season, The Rock faced off against Westminster College and also defeated them 9-0. After which the team turned to individual and tournament play when the team traveled to Erie, Pa to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Atlantic Regional in mid Sept. The Rock’s number one player, sophomore Lacey Cohen, has been able to build upon her game since her outstanding freshman year said coach Meredith, but there is still work to be done.
“She has gotten more comfortable with her game,” SRU women’s tennis head coach Matt Meredith said. “Lacey is a counter puncher, which I’m learning. Once she wears down an opponent she starts to attack.”
In late September, the Green and White traveled to Bloomsburg to play in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Individual Championships. Sophomores Cohen and Viola Lugmayr, along with senior Carla Corrochano Moracho were the only three SRU players to participate. Cohen and Lugmayr lost to Indiana University (Pa) in the semifinals of the doubles, while Moracho and Cohen both made it to the quarterfinals in the singles bracket.
Four of the team’s eight players are newcomers to The Rock such as freshmen Lauren Fadden, Amy Varckette, Olivia Warner, followed by Lugmayr. Meredith mentioned how the new team members have been able to make an immediate impact this season.
“I think we have some great depth on this team and moving forward I’m very happy with how their progressing,” Meredith said. “Now that they have some experience under their belt, that’s what we are hoping that now they’re no longer freshmen.”
With the fall half of the season over and winter coming soon, The Rock will now dedicate their time to conditioning themselves for the next few months to prepare for the rest of the upcoming season. After this week, The Rock will only be able to spend eight hours a week conditioning, but only two of those hours a week can be used on the court Meredith said. Coach Meredith says he believes this is the part of the season is crucial to how far the team can go into the spring half of the season.
“This is our hardest part of the season,” Meredith said. “How hard we work off-court to get ready to get back on court is everything. We’re going to be in the weight room, we’re going to be conditioning; those things. That’s not the fun thing, that’s not hitting tennis balls.”
The start of the second half of the season won’t begin until Feb. 3 when The Rock travels to Pittsburgh to take on Carnegie Mellon University, followed by a trip to New York to take on St. Bonaventure University on Feb. 10. Meredith said both teams right out of the gate will bring some great competition.
“We start off with some very tough opponents right off the bat,” Meredith said. “But I’d rather have it that way than just going out and crushing somebody.”