BY MAGGIE VANDER WOUDE
The Lady Barons tennis team will be finishing up their incredibly successful season this weekend at the Conference Finals in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The Lady Barons are currently first place in the conference after completing their regular season with an undefeated record of 8-0.
When asked what will be the key to success in the tournament, Head Coach Jenna Linch said, “We are a stronger team than the rest. We just need to play our game.”
On Saturday the Lady Barons took on Penn State Altoona in the semi finals and came out on top with the victory. All three doubles teams won plus singles victories by freshman Anna O’Connor and sophomore Erin Coyne.
The ladies won in a straight 5-0 sweep. The Lady Barons then took on their rival, Penn State Behrend in the finals on Sunday.
O’Connor, singles #5, said about the final match, “We need to be aggressive and consistent. It will be important to take it one point at a time.”
Linch spoke about the upcoming match and said that Penn State Behrend has “a strong attack” but Franciscan’s Lady Barons have “more depth.”
After coming from behind in doubles, the Lady Barons defeated defending conference champions, Penn State Behrend 5-2. The Franciscan women’s tennis team have rightfully earned their first ever title of AMCC Champions.
Linch, who has been Franciscans head tennis coach for the last four years, coached the Lady Barons this season. Linch has been very successful here at Franciscan getting her team to the conference tournament every year.
Linch is very proud of her team this year and claimed, “This year’s team is just such an exceptional group of girls. I’ve never seen such strong virtuous girls full of great character. … I’ve honestly learned more from them this year then they probably have from me.”
The women’s tennis team was led by captains Alanna Murray, senior, and Allison Jensen, junior. Erin Coyne, Claire Haddard and Ashley Veazey were the sophomores on the team. The two newest members of the team were freshmen Anna O’Connor and Emmy Mathias, who Linch described as adding “much personality” to the team this season.
O’Connor spoke about her first years experience on the Lady Barons tennis team and said, “It is like we were a mini family. I believe we were able to perform so well because of our great bond.”
O’Connor also gave credit for their success to Coach Linch, saying, “Coach was so dedicated to our team. Even when she was 8 months pregnant she was still out on the courts with us. She had a great love for the team.”