Since the recommencement of the tennis season during the week of March 6, West Chester University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams have been off to a slow start, sporting a combined record of 2-7. Of those eight matches, only three have been played by the women’s team who, since March 7 have been 1-2. Their two losses came while in Hilton Head, South Carolina at the hands of Palm Beach Atlantic and Florida Tech respectively.
In their first match on March 7, they fell to Palm Beach Atlantic 8-1 with the only point for WCU coming from the third doubles team of Nicole Paller and Kara Shumock. The following day was another 8-1 loss this time at the hands of Florida Tech, Claire Afrassiabian’s singles victory being WCU’s only point on the day.
“We played two teams that are two-thirds of the way through their seasons,” head coach Tina Tharp revealed, “so they’re where we’re going to be in about a month. We had some girls who were sick, but they went out and competed, plus those teams are from Florida.they’re good.”
These two early losses, however, have not dampened any spirits.
“The whole team is excited for the season,” said Kara Shumock. “After our team bonding spring break trip to Hilton Head the team is more focused than ever.”
The focus became much clearer in their first match after their trip to South Carolina with a 9-0 routing of Harford Community College in a non-league match. The matches were highlighted by Afrassiabian, Shumock, Paller, Allie Fetter, and Alex Santoro’s straight set victories.
The men’s side has been more active over the past two weeks, with a total of six matches being played, landing them with a 1-5 record.
Like the women, the men dropped both matches played in South Carolina, encountering 9-0 defeats against Palm Beach Atlantic and Florida Tech.
The fortune didn’t change coming back north with a 6-3 loss to Harford Community College. WCU’s victories came a little too late as the third doubles team of Matt Thomas and Joseph Cooke won their match 8-4 while Michael Sim and Alan Day won their singles matches at fifth and sixth respectively.
The men’s next match against Bloomfield College was much more successful. The Golden Rams left New Jersey with an 8-1 victory. The three doubles teams swept Bloomfield with 8-2, 8-3, and 8-0 victories and were followed up by fantastic singles performances by David Goldenberg, Steve Hlava, and Jimmy Aridas sweeping their opponents without dropping a game.
The results did not last as the team dropped their next two matches to Gettysburg and the University of the Sciences. David Goldenberg’s performance was a major bright spot for the men in their 6-3 loss to Gettysburg. After dropping his first set 6-2, Goldenberg was able to rally his way to a 10-9 victory in a third set tie-breaker.
Steve Hlava managed to win WCU’s only singles match in their 7-2 loss to the University of the Sciences. The other team point came from the doubles pairing of Goldenberg and Alan Day.
“[Coach Tharp] has been doing a lot of experimenting with our line-up in the early season starting with our two matches in Hilton Head, SC,” said team captain Matt Thomas. “I think she is pretty much set on what she thinks our best line up is now, and we are all happy with where we are playing. Now we just have to put it all together in the PSAC matches.”
Brian Johnson is a third-year student majoring in English. He can be reached at BJ669485@wcupa.edu.