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A Series of Underrated Sports: Women’s Tennis

By: Audrey Kough, Red & Black Campus Sports Writer

W&J's Tennis teams practice and compete at the Janet Swanson Tennis Center, which was completed in 2015. (Photo Courtesy Regan Carlson)

NOV. 11 - If someone were to say women’s tennis, what would you immediately think of? For most people, it would be the famous tennis stars, Serena and Venus Williams. Not many people know about women’s tennis at any other level other than the professional level. At Washington and Jefferson College, we have a women’s tennis team who performs well but flies under the radar in terms of recognition.

The Women’s Tennis Team is a part of the President’s Athletic Conference (PAC), and the team practices and competes during both the fall season and spring seasons. The women have completed their fall season and are now out of season waiting for their spring to start for the women to get back on the courts. In the women’s fall 2022 season they finished with a record of 3-8 and a conference record of 3-5. While the team may not have had a winning season during the fall, their talent and effort did not go unrecognized and helped them accomplish some wins during their fall season.

The team qualified for the 2022 fall PAC Championships, however, the road to get to the championships was not an easy one. A key part of playing in tennis matches is doubled, where two people work together to play against another set of two people. Playing a good match in doubles requires good teamwork, excellent communication, and trusting chemistry between the two players that are on the court. sophomore Gloria Johnson spoke on this topic, “For the fall season we had a tough fight to make it to playoffs. Due to new members on the team, we needed to try different combinations of doubles partners. It was fun playing with everyone and trying out the different possible combinations. I found that junior Jaelyn Kennedy and I brought the best out of each other while playing doubles.”

While at the PAC Championship tournament the women’s team lost in the first round of matchups against Westminster College 3-5. While playing in the championships, all the matches turned into battles that were fought all the way to the end of the match. Needless to say, the effort of the women’s tennis team is undeniable and helps to get them through matches, in hopes to set them over the edge and beat their opponent.

While doubles play a significant role in the sport of tennis, so does the playing of singles. In a singles match, a player is all their own to cover the entire side of the court against one other player on the side of the court. To cover the entire side of the court requires athleticism, stamina, hard work, and resilience to never give up. All the women who play singles on the tennis team make all these qualities occur during their matches to help contribute to their overall match success and in turn the team’s success.

Currently, women’s tennis is on a break since their fall season has ended and will not return until spring sport starts. Johnson talks about what the team is doing during the offseason in order to help prepare them for the spring portion of the season, “To prepare for the spring, we work out on our own time and just take time to rest due to the season being very intense physically. In the spring, we have some scrimmage matches planned and I am excited to get back on the courts!” The season split into two sections provides the women’s tennis team another opportunity to prove what they can showcase on the courts. Watch out in the spring for women’s tennis to be back in action on the courts representing the W&J Presidents.
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