by Leo Hainline ’22
The Providence College Women’s Tennis Team recently got itsseason underway as the squad looks to improve from the previous year and aims to establish itself as a competitive program in the Big East.
Returning veterans Aidan Epstein ’20 and Natalie Pitocco ’20 will need to bring their experience to help lead an underclassmen-heavy roster. In his fourth season as head coach, Jakob Klaeson recruited four freshmen to Friartown to join Mimi Dailey ’22, Haley Gurski ’22 and the two seniors. The squad looks to usher in a new era for the program.
The roster is full of competitors and Coach Klaeson anticipates both their youth and depth as two big potential strengths.
“One of our strengths is that we’re very similar from top to bottom,” he said. “We have two seniors, no juniors, two sophomores, and four freshmen. One of our strengths could be that everything is so new and exciting, but that could also work against us that we don’t have the prior experience as much as other teams, but I see the depth of our team as our strength.”
Dailey agrees with Coach Klaeson that there are many reasons to be optimistic about to the rest of the season.
“I think our team from last year has already improved from the previous season a significant amount,” she stated. “We have four hardworking and determined freshmen and four returning players. I believe this year the eight players are driven and ready to compete to our best abilities.”
She spoke very highly of the newcomers to the team, saying, “All four of our freshmen are amazing. Each freshman has brought new and different talent to the team. I believe they are all worthy of looking for out there on the courts this season.”
PC women’s tennis is coming off a 5-18 season and currently are 1-3 in the 2020 season, having lost a tight match to Fairfield University this past weekend. Providence and Fairfield have been evenly matched but this time the Friars lost 4-3 in singles, with many of the matches going all three sets.
In doubles, the Friars went 1-2, with the two losses coming in hard-fought matches. PC came back from 2-5 down only to fall 6-7 (women’s collegiate tennis only plays one set in doubles). Brenna Magliochetti ’23 was the only Friar to grab wins in both singles and doubles, winning her singles matches 6-3, 6-0, and linking up with fellow Katie Mulvey ’23 to grab the sole doubles win 6-2.
The Friars take the court next in Orlando, FL over spring break for matchups against Millsap College and Big East opponents Georgetown University and Creighton University. Coach Klaeson noted that he is looking forward to Big East play.
“The Big East matches are always highlights of the season,” he stated. “We have a couple of exciting ones. For my tenure, we’re heading to Marquette University for the first time. We head to Marquette and play Butler University at Marquette so that will be an exciting trip.”
Coach Klaeson also mentioned that their match against Sacred Heart University is one to watch out for.
“Coming back from spring break, we have Sacred Heart at home again. We lost to them last season 3-4, so that’s an exciting match. I think we’re very evenly squared up and we’re very excited to kind of, like, reclaim that because we have beat them in the past and going a bit back and forth, they’ve always been close matches.”
The Friars plan on demonstrating their ability on the court this season with a youthful squad that screams potential. As the season progresses, PC will look to show that they are ready to compete against some elite competition.