The Carlow tennis team is expecting big things for the 2018 spring season.
Last season, four Celtics were honored with the RSC Tennis Scholar-Athlete award. These honorees include returners Justina Jacquillard (JR/Scottdale, Pa.) and Rebecca Walker (JR/Kittanning). To receive this award, student-athletes must have a grade-point average of 3.25 or higher, compete in an RSC championship sport, and be selected by their athletic department.
On the court, the Celtics finished last season with an overall record of 2-6, while going 2-4 in River States Conference play. They ranked fifth out of seven teams in the RSC. Although the Celtics fell short of the conference playoffs, this spring they are expecting a different outcome.
Head coach Gina Lovaglio is pushing the Celtics to work hard not only in the classroom, but also on the court. The Celtics are currently preparing for the upcoming season with regular intense team practices and individual training sessions. Assisting Lovaglio are Samantha Lovaglio and Tom Merchant, who previously served as Carlow’s head coach.
After graduating four seniors, the team’s roster stands at nine players. Carmen Kubasky (Mount Pleasant, Pa.) is the only senior on this year’s squad. Joining her are five juniors and three sophomores. Because most of the team members are upperclassmen, leadership will play an important role in the success of the team.
Carlow returns players in five of its six singles spots: No. 1 Emily Armstrong (JR/New Kensington, Pa.), No. 3 Jacquillard, No. 4 MaryKathryn Hankewycz (SO/Irwin, Pa.), No. 5 Melanie Long (SO/Pittsburgh, Pa.), and No. 6 Julianna Mamajek (SO/Pittsburgh, Pa.).
One of their goals for this season is to be competitive in RSC play. Last season, Asbury was the top team in the conference, finishing the season with an overall record of 14-4 and a conference record of 6-0.
Carlow's spring season will consist of eight matches. Home matches will be played at Alpha Tennis and Fitness (1 Alpha Dr. E., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15238). The Celtics will kick off their season at Indiana University Kokomo on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 8:30 a.m.
For further updates, schedules, and scores, visit www.carlow.edu/Tennis.aspx.