Women’s tennis advances to championship game

RYAN DISDIER
Staff Writer

photo courtesy of scranton athletics  SENIOR NICOLE Mahaffey hits a return in a match this season. Mahaffey and the women’s tennis team play for the conference championship Saturday.

photo courtesy of scranton athletics
SENIOR NICOLE Mahaffey hits a return in a match this season. Mahaffey and the women’s tennis team play for the conference championship Saturday.

The University’s women’s tennis team is in the midst of a very successful season. The team is 11-4 and 6-1 in conference play. This is the third consecutive season in which the team has finished the season with 10 wins or more.

Janice Winslow became the head coach last year and led the team to its third-straight Landmark Conference Championship. In two years with Winslow as head coach, the team has a record of 22-11. Junior Emily Walsh cited team chemistry as one of the main reasons for its continued success.

“I think we learned so much by working together over the past couple of years, and we’re really all dedicated to the team so much,” Walsh said. “Even though we’re so busy with school, everyone really does a great job of taking time out of all their class time to make sure they get to practice every single day.”

Although the successful season is winding down, the team still has games left to play. The team is getting ready for the biggest matches of the year, as the Landmark Conference tournament is coming up.

Although the stage is bigger and the pressure is greater, the team remains cool, calm and collected.

“Although it’s late in the year, the intensity is still strong. We’re trying to not put too much pressure on ourselves, as well as keep the practice atmosphere the same,” Walsh said.

Even with issues caused by the erratic weather, the team remains focused.

“We’ve been dealing with some weather issues, so we haven’t been able to practice a whole lot,” Walsh said.

Walsh has a career singles record of 24-5 and a career doubles mark of 19-15. Last year, she became the third player in Scranton history to post a perfect singles record with at least 10 victories.

Moving forward, Walsh thinks the team is headed in the right direction regardless of how it does in the tournament. However, there is still work that needs to be done.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Walsh said. “I think definitely working on doubles this year has helped, and I think next year we need to continue to do the same. We’re going to have a very young team, because we’re losing three starters. So I think just teaching the underclassmen more about doubles is really important.”

The team will be losing seniors Megan Azzalina, Lisa-Marie Lanciotti and Nicole Mahaffey.

The team plays in the Landmark Conference Championship Saturday against Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown.

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