by Lauren Altmeyer ’17
For sisters Amanda Pitocco ’17 and Natalie Pitocco ’20, tennis is a family affair. Starting at the ages of seven and five, respectively, they got their love of the sport from their mom.
“Our mom got us into tennis. She used to play in high school and we actually learned from her high school coach. He’s 89 years old and still coaching,” said Amanda.
“Our mom also got our dad into it, so we would play doubles a lot with them when we were younger. It used to be more evenly matched but now when Amanda and I play them it’s not so fair,” added Natalie with a laugh.
Even their grandparents, who are long time Friars Basketball season ticket holders, join in on the fun. “Our grandparents have a court near their house so sometimes they’ll watch the matches we have with our parents,” said Amanda, “They live really close so they’ve been coming to basketball games at Providence College for over 30 years. We used to come all the time which is how we knew about the Friars.”
“We’re big basketball fans. We also really like volleyball and soccer, because we have a lot of friends on those teams,” added Natalie.
Although the tennis team has had its struggles in the second half of the season, head coach Jakob Klaeson has done a good job of keeping morale up. Natalie noted, “He tells us to work hard and have a positive mindset about everything. He’s a really great coach.” Amanda agreed, adding, “We get along really well as a team. One of the biggest things our coach always tells us to do is cheer everybody on, no matter what. It really builds on the whole team aspect and helps everything fall into place.”
With the Big East tournament taking place on April 27, the team is ready to take on Villanova once again. They will play six singles matches and three doubles matches against the Wildcats.
“We’re very excited. Villanova is one of our rivals and we lost to them a couple of weeks ago so this will be a good chance to get revenge,” said Amanda, “It should be a good match.”
With the season coming to a close and graduation nearing, the Pitocco sisters reflected on their season. “We’ve had a friendly rivalry being on the same team this year,” said Amanda, “I used to win all the time but now she gives me a run for my money.”
Natalie, who still has three years ahead of her at PC, said, “I will really miss having Amanda around. It’s so nice to have someone to go to after a tough match, someone that I’m so close to. I’ve been practicing and playing with her all my life so now that she’s graduating things will be a little different.”
When asked what she will miss the most about her time at PC, Amanda said, “I will definitely miss being part of the tennis team the most. My teammates have come to be some of my closest friends on campus and I always look forward to seeing them every day. When you’ve got a tough schedule, it’s awesome to just go to practice and forget about everything else. My teammates make everything so much fun.”