The past week has been much more productive for West Chester University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams, seeing them both finish with 2-1 records. When the week started, it looked as if it were going to be much of the same for the men with a 9-0 loss to PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) opponent Mercyhurst College on March 26. The two closest results came at the number one and three doubles with an 8-5 and 8-6 loss, respectively.
Freshman Connor Dunn’s match was the highlight of the singles competition, with WCU’s representative falling in a close 7-5, 6-4 match.
“We should have came out with a 2-1 lead heading into the singles but didn’t win the crucial points to make that happen,” head coach Tina Tharp said. “They are a much stronger team than West Chester from 1-6 singles although, Freshman Connor Dunn played an amazing match, losing close.”
Not to be spurned by the result from the day before, the men went after PSAC opponent Edinboro University for an 8-1 victory. The match was full of dominating performances at doubles and singles with WCU dropping only 13 of the 64 games played in their winning matches.
The match started off with 8-1 and 8-0 victories from the one and two doubles pairings followed by an Edinboro forfeit, giving the Golden Rams a 3-0 lead going into singles play, which was dominated by WCU’s players. Edinboro’s lone point came from a win at second singles from Jason Hoffman.
The highlight of the past week, and for that matter, the whole season, came on March 29 when the Golden Rams defeated PSAC Eastern Division rival East Stroudsburg University 5-4 without their No.1 singles player Nate Geigle, who has been sidelined due to an ACL tear. The victory marked the end of a 30 match losing streak within the division dating back to 2003.
Things started off tight in the doubles competition with WCU edging out 8-6, 8-6, and 9-8 victories, with a 7-5 tiebreak win in the third doubles match to seal the win.
Things only got tighter as ESU took number one and two singles with three set victories. However, WCU completed their victory with three set victories of their own with wins from Steve Hlava and Jimmy Aridas at third and forth singles.
The women’s week of competition started in similar fashion to the men’s, falling to Mercyhurst 7-2. WCU’s points came from Luisiana Souto and Claire Afrassiabian at second and forth singles.
“I thought we left some winnable matches out there,” coach Tharp said. “We [still] need to work on some things.”
Like the men, the women responded to the loss against Mercyhurst with a 9-0 demolishing of Edinboro, with their stellar performances leading to only four dropped games in the match.
Unlike the men, their match against East Stoudsburg was a much more comfortable 7-2 victory. Like the men they swept the doubles competition giving them a 3-0 lead and things looked to get a bit precarious as ESU took first and second singles.
The Golden Rams earned fairly comfortable victories from Ali Fetter, Afrassiabian, Alex Santoro and Kara Shumock.
With these results, both teams are currently 1-0 and conference play with eight matches to go for the women and six for the men before the PSAC playoffs begin.
Brian Johnson is a third-year student majoring in English. He can be reached at BJ669485@wcupa.edu.