BY ADRIANA PERRY
Lady Barons Tennis improved their home record Saturday as they slipped by conference rival, Penn State-Behrend Lions. Franciscan went 2-1 in doubles and 3-3 in singles giving them 5-4 victory over the Lions.
Despite the win, the day did not start off well for the Barons as freshman Anna O’Connor was forced to leave the courts after a shoulder injury during warmup. The Barons fought through the setback though, as freshman Emily Mathias filled in for O’Connor in the number three doubles spot. O’Connor’s partner, Ashley Veazey, was pleased with the way Mathias and her played, aside from losing their doubles match.
Veazey commented on the situation saying, “Considering that we’ve never played together before and considering that she doesn’t have a whole lot of experience, we did pretty well.”
Apart from O’Connor’s injury, the Barons stayed strong mentally throughout the match. Head coach, Jenna Lynch, felt it was the girls’ confidence that brought them the win over the tough Lions’ roster.
“The girls came in with a confidence that I did not think they would have with this match. … They always beat us in conference, they’re always our number one loss. … So the girls came out with a confidence that was above and beyond what I had expected from them,” said Lynch.
It appeared that the key factor in the Barons’ victory was their mental game. They remained calm on the court and rarely got frustrated over mistakes.
Ultimately, there was a sense of fellowship as well as focus on the Barons’ side of the ball today as many of the girls were smiling and cheering each other on to keep the confidence.
“Because of the unpredictable incident you just have to keep your head up, stay strong, and play in the moment. You can’t think about what happened,” said Mathias.
After today, the Barons are 4-1 and they look to continue their streak as they take on the University of Pitt.-Bradford Panthers Sunday at 1:00 pm.