Tennis continues tear, readies for league tourney

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Continuing on with its April momentum, the Slippery Rock University tennis team (8-5, 5-1 in the PSAC West) rounded out its regular season slate and extended its win streak to four by rolling over both Bluefield State and California (Pa.) earlier this week.

At home on Sunday at the SRU Tennis Courts, the green and white hosted the non-conference competitor Big Blue (7-9, 0-0 in conference) from Bluefield, West Virginia. With a 5-2 triumph, Slippery Rock closed out a 3-0 week and reserved an opening round home matchup in the upcoming PSAC tournament.

Competing alongside one another for the first time, freshman Adriana Gonzalez Sanchez and fifth-year senior Lacey Cohen pummeled the visitors’ first flight doubles pairing, shutting it out, 6-0. Juniors Amy Varckette and Lauren Fadden followed suit in the third flight, downing their challengers by the same score and grabbing the match’s doubles tally.

It was Varckette who kicked off singles play for the Rock. In the sixth flight, she bested Victoria Cabral, 6-2, 6-4, claiming the second point of the afternoon. After Cohen stumbled in the second flight, Fadden and Gonzalez Sanchez iced an SRU victory.

The match already in hand, freshman Gabi del Val del Toro pulled out a 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3) third flight decision.

Two days later, head coach Matt Meredith and company hit the road to visit the Vulcans of California (Pa.) (2-7, 1-5 in the PSAC). The singles play of both Gonzalez Sanchez and del Val del Toro remained hot, as the transfers best their opponents for the 11th and 9th times in a row, respectively. With a 7-0 victory, SRU improved its away mark to 5-1 on the campaign.

Again, Slippery Rock’s doubles duos made quick work with a couple of 6-0 conclusions. In the first flight, it was Gonzalez Sanchez and del Val del Toro, teaming up for the first time and dominating the court. Varckette and junior Olivia Warner were also paired for the first time, with a familiar result.

Sisters Lauren and Lindsey Fadden downed Julia McDaniel and Laura Vargas, 6-4, in the third flight. Varckette then opened singles competition with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout, collecting her fourth consecutive solo win.

Before the match concluded, both Fadden sisters, Gonzalez Sanchez, and del Val del Toro ran away with their individual matches.

The Rock closed out its schedule with successes in seven of its last eight matches and will next face Mercyhurst in postseason action on Saturday morning. The team beat the Lakers in Erie at the end of March, 4-3.

Brendan is a senior converged journalism major serving his second year on The Rocket staff and his first semester as sports editor. Previously, he served as assistant campus life editor and assistant sports editor. After graduation, he hopes to cover sports for a newspaper or magazine.

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