The women’s tennis team of Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) reached the semifinal of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and is aiming to make it to the championship match.
The Eastern Nazarene College women’s tennis team has won the first six of seven conference matches. Their only loss came against Colby-Sawyer (2-6). Overall, they sit 10-1 on the season and have a 6-1 balance in their conference.
When asked about the team’s performance, sophomore Emily Ruttkowski, position two in singles and first in doubles line-up with Adele Duval, said it was, “pretty good, but I still think there is chance to improve.”
Ruttkowski compared this team to last year’s team because they have both made history. Ruttkowski said, “We lost two seniors from last year and gained Annelise [Sherrill] from the soccer team as well as graduate student Jacquelin Arretche.”
According to Ruttkowski, head coach Cristian Popa has emphasized that the team should bond more to build chemistry. Popa stresses that they should spend a lot of time together, but still work individually.
Senior Sharon Biondi takes the number one spot on the team and plays in the second doubles with Arretche. Biondi believes this team is “…more together…” than last year’s team. Biondi said, “The women are playing tennis more consistently. Annelise came over from the soccer team and improved over the off-season.”
Supporting each other has been the biggest strength this year for ENC’s women’s tennis team. Biondi said, “We support each other. We really cheer each other on.” She cited freshman Karla Polanco as a big source of support for the team.
The biggest challenge for the team is the number of players: they only have eight. Biondi explained that they need more girls for the team because when injuries happen, it is difficult to replace the starting line-up.
Biondi is confident that they can win the conference if they push themselves. Currently, they have the second conference seat behind Colby-Sawyer College.