The women’s tennis team here at Pitt-Greensburg is out to make history with a 3-season winning streak. Not only has the team gone undefeated the past three years, they also were conference champions for the past two.
This season, the women went undefeated for 9 matches after their initial loss against Franciscan University. They also swept the AMCC (Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference), meaning they beat all of their conference competition and head next to the NCAA for a second year in a row. The Pitt-Greensburg team is one of two to ever achieve this feat.
“It may seem less exciting, but winning back to back makes history,” Cathryn Rossi, a junior psychology major at Pitt-Greensburg and co-captain of the women’s tennis team, said.
Starting in third grade, Rossi has played tennis for the university since her freshman year and played all four years on her high school team.
Just as one would stretch and exert a muscle, flexibility in sports often needs to be both physical and mental to build the health of a team. Rossi said that her team’s success is made possible by, “Being adaptable, and working on drive and motivation.”
Tennis coach Doug Smeltzer, coaching at Pitt-Greensburg since 2017, agreed with Rossi:
“As a coach, you’re most successful when you can adapt to the players you have,” Smeltzer said. “You’re not changing your entire philosophy, but are willing to adapt, change, and grow.”
Approaching the NCAA tournament in the spring, players and coaches alike will bide their time with rigorous practice, mental discipline, and flexibility.
“With the wrong coach, a good team could still falter. You could have the best coach but if you don’t have players who are willing to work hard, that’s not ideal either.” Smeltzer said. “But my job now is easier than ever… I have a tremendous group of players, they’re great on the court and are even better people off the court.”
As the semester winds down for other students, the women’s tennis team is just getting started, gearing up for the next possible challenge.
“I am confident and my coach is confident that we can make the upcoming tournament, and I am really, really excited for next season,” Rossi said.