It was sunny and over 80 degrees through much of the day on Wednesday, April 13. The Rams women’s tennis team was coming off their second loss in a row, which had followed an impressive six-game win streak. Coach Tharp and the girls were looking to rebound against a non-PSAC opponent in Harford Community College.
In speaking to Tharp before the game, the Coach recognized the “tough match” with Millersville in which the team lost 3–4. Millersville currently sits at the top seed in the PSAC conference, and could very likely be seen again when the current number-two seeded Rams clash heads with the Marauders in a playoff setting.
I asked Tharp about the season in general and about any standouts on her roster this semester. Without hesitation, she mentioned Alyssa Skulsky.
Skulsky, the Churchville, PA hailing senior, has had an injury-riddled career throughout the past four years due to a nagging shoulder injury. It was her “fearless” resolve, however, and “willingness to make changes” that caught the eye of Coach Tharp and her teammates. With the help of strength coach Rick Howard, Skulsky has led an impressive comeback and has become the top player of the roster this semester.
“She’s shown much more confidence over the last two years,” Tharp told me, “she has consistent play and has learned to play doubles at a high level.” In the doubles match she played with teammate Yuno Oe, matched up against Harford, Skulsky defeated the Kuper/Tjomos pair 6–0 and matched that score twice in her singles against Tjomos.
Tori Alexander and Davica Massaro took on the Hohschneider/Holway pair and defeated them 6–2. Elaina Lee and Gabrielle Lerario defeated Calvo Herero/Novak 6–0 — a doubles sweep.
The outcomes of the singles were similar to the doubles with the total number of points allowed kept to three: one by Alexander, one by Massaro and one by Lee. The singles were as follows: Oe defeated Novak 6–0, then led 2–0 before the game was retired following an injury to her opponent. Amber Nguyen defeated Kuper twice 6–0, Alexander defeated Calvo Herero 6–0 and 6–1. Massaro defeated Holway 6–1 and 6–0, and Lee defeated Hohschneider 6–0 and 6–1, completing the sweep.
“Very solid performance, Tharp observed. “We won every court.”
“We had smooth games,” Tori Alexander told me. “We stayed focused and didn’t give up points.”
Tharp told me that the team will have to prepare for a “tough matchup” against Wilmington University, who is well-coached by former player Troy Donato. “He’s really turned that program around,” Tharp said. West Chester will host Wilmington on Tuesday, April 19.
West Chester can secure the number-two seed by defeating their next PSAC opponent, Shepherd, on April 23. If they do so, they would most likely be hosting the current fourth seed, Bloomsburg, on April 29. Here’s hoping the Rams can continue their current hot streak through the playoffs.
Joseph Gill is a third-year English major with a minor in Journalism. JG923276@wcupa.edu