The Manhattan College women’s tennis team had a notable season. Beginning the season with two conference wins against MAAC opponents, they set the tone for what type of season they were going to have. There were some ups and downs but they made improvements throughout the season and continue to work toward a MAAC championship.
“As the season went on, there was a lot more camaraderie and support among my teammates,” senior Brianna Turano said. “There was much more determination on and off the court by the players.”
It was a fresh start for the Jaspers with a new head coach and a new program this season. Harder workouts meant being in better shape and competing at a higher level.
“I think that was our biggest improvement,” junior Caitlin Bricketto said. “The longer you can stay on the court without getting tired, the better chance you have to win the match.”
The Jaspers started their season off with a conference game against Rider and finished with a 5-2 win. They continued and had two 7-0 defeats, one over conference opponent Saint Peter’s. After this, they were holding on to a 5-3 record, 3-1 in the MAAC.
“The score didn’t always show how close we were with our competition in conference matches,” Bricketto said. “We were able to compete with every team.”
Senior Brianna Turano was honored before her last home game with the Jaspers on April 13. She brought out a victory at No. 1 singles against Niagara. Manhattan, however, finished the game with a 5-2 loss. Junior Catherine Clark was honored for the second time with a spot earned on the MAAC All-Academic team. She earned five single wins for the team and three victories in doubles with Rosello. All-Academic spots are earned with at least a year of competition and a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher.
“Our new coach really had a positive impact on the returning players,” Turano said. “We had two new freshmen who fit in really well. We had fun and worked hard. It was a really great last year for me.”
Following a tough losing streak for the latter part of the season, junior Alyssa Rosello gave the Jaspers a lift against Hartford in their matchup on April 17. Her match was even at three wins each and led to a critical third set. Rosello succeeded and secured the 4-3 victory for the Jaspers, giving them a needed energy boost for the remainder of the season.
“Our program is growing and improving,” Bricketto said. “That takes time but we are all excited for the future.”
The Jaspers finished the season with a conference record of 3-5. They placed sixth in the final standings for the MAAC. Three conference victories were the most for Manhattan since the 2007 season. The team was two wins away from making the top four of the MAAC this year, which would have clinched a spot in the tournament.
“While that’s upsetting, it’s also motivating,” Bricketto said. “We know if we give it everything we’ve got next year than we have a definite shot of making it.”