The West Chester University men’s tennis team (1-7, 0-3 PSAC) has had a bumpy start to 2017, losing all but one contest so far in the new year.
WCU kicked off their spring slate with a 2-7 defeat to Mercyhurst University (8-6, 2-0 PSAC) on March 4 at the Pennbriar Raquet Club, marking the Golden Rams’ first conference clash of the year. Going into the matchup, West Chester was ranked No. 9 regionally by the ITA, while the Lakers clocked in as the No. 3 ranked team in the Atlantic Region.
Mercyhurst seized control in doubles to the tune of 2-0 after a couple of 8-2 decisions, but West Chester’s Charlie Rushing and Aiden Henken managed to upend the Lakers’ duo of Conor McCooey and Dusan Cerny in the final frame, avoiding the sweep for the Golden Rams.
The Lakers emerged victorious in all but one singles tilt, as Rushing claimed another win, this time against Joaquin Aguilera. Defeats to Edinboro University and Eckerd College succeeded the loss to Mercyhurst, but West Chester notched a victory on March 15 against Saint Michael’s College during a trip to Orlando, Fl.
WCU takes an annual trip to Florida for a handful of games in the Sunshine State, and the change of scenery sparked a change in results. Not only did West Chester’s five-match losing streak conclude with the win, but it was their first win in Florida since 2015.
West Chester claimed victory in five of the six singles matches played, with Henken and Rushing again doing damage in doubles with an 8-1 win in their second match. Both members of the duo won their singles matches as well.
Lucas Von der Heyde, Keanu Travelino and Kylil Curry all joined Henken and Rushing in the singles match winner’s circle.
West Chester’s final match in Florida did not have the results that they would’ve liked, as they fell to Southeastern University 8-1 before heading back to Pennsylvania. Von der Heyde snagged the lone victory of the day, winning a singles match 6-2, 6-1.
After returning to Pennsylvania, the Golden Rams squared off against the visiting Kutztown University Golden Rams and suffered a second consecutive loss as they were defeated 1-8.
Norman Patten secured the only win of the day, grabbing a W in his singles match with a score of 6-2, 6-4.
West Chester returns to action on March 30 against Philadelphia University and will then journey to Maryland to face-off with Harford Community College.
The Golden Rams return home on April 2, hosting a match with the Bloomsburg Huskies. Mark your calendars and be prepared to cheer on your Golden Rams as they try to turn their season around and get on the winning track!
William Boyer is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at WB806695@wcupa.edu.