The Plattsburgh State women’s tennis team 3-2 (1-1) matched up against their first SUNYAC opponents of the season.
“Our SUNYAC conference is tough to be in, no matter East or West,” head coach Annmarie Curle said. “The competition is excellent.”
The Cardinals ended up splitting the matches against Oneonta and Cortland, 8-1 and 5-4, respectively.
“We gave it our best shot against Oneonta,” Curle said. “I felt that the score 8-1 is deceptive, because if you look at the individual game scores, we definitely competed. Then we got to 4-4 in the doubles and that’s where the separation started happening.”
Over the weekend, the Cards defeated the Cortland Red Dragons, which is the first time PSUC has won against the Red Dragons since Sept. 8, 2012, which makes this conference victory this past weekend even that more significant.
Amidst the strong victory over Cortland, senior Jacqueline Ciriello and freshman Sierra Barrett both won their singles matches, and as a team were able to pair up for a clutch victory as well.
“Sierra is a nursing major, just like me. She’s just like me freshman year,” Ciriello said. “I put a lot on myself to guide her and help her learn as much as I can.”
Curle added to the notion of how Ciriello is a vital force of knowledge being that she is one of the seniors on the team.
“I’ve spoken to Ciriello a lot about about the importance of transferring her knowledge about the attitude of the sport and the court presence that’s necessary at the collegiate level,” Curle said.
With Barrett being a first year student, she has a great opportunity to learn and grow due to Ciriello’s experience over the years.
“Most of it is communication between one another, and Jackie is great at that,” Barrett said. “She really helps us out in the points when it gets stressful. She’s always talking and keeping everything calm.”
Following their first weekend of SUNYAC matchups, the Cards faced off against another tough opponent, a division two nonconference opponent, Saint Michael’s College of Colchester, Vt.
“Not only is it going to be a tough matchup, but we’re not going to have two of our starters in our lineup, which makes for some creative decisions,” Curle said prior to their matches against Saint Michael’s. “Like any competition, whoever’s representing us at the time, we’re going to leave it on the court, give it our best effort and at the end of the day we will be proud of ourselves.”
PSUC ultimately ended up losing to the division two nonconference opponents in an 8-1 affair. However, a loss should not have a lasting affect on a team that is stacked with a load of experienced uniors and seniors.
“She has really stepped up for not only Sierra, but for all of the newcomers on the team. All of the upperclassmen for that matter as well.”
The allotment of upperclassmen on this team know how to respond to tough losses like this, and will move forward with the rest of the team by doing what they do best – playing fundamentally sound tennis.
“We don’t really have a named captain on our team, because I believe at any given time any single one can step up and be a leader on this team,” Curle said. “No matter what, they really respond to that positive vibe, and that speaks volumes through consistency and high level of play.”
The Cards know what they have to do in order to make a successful turnaround for their next match, squaring off against conference opponent SUNY New Paltz, today 3:30 p.m. at the Memorial Hall Tennis Courts.
“Like I always say to the team, it’s every time we take the court, every competition is a building block,” Curle said. “We have to continue to look at every match; analyze our strengths, weaknesses, what we did well and take pride in what we are doing well, but also being reflective and going hard in our practices to firm up our weaknesses.”
Email Ezra Kachaturian at firstname.lastname@example.org