Tennis Coach Expects Good Things
The Pennsylvania College of Technology tennis team is coming off an unbeaten spring season during which it won the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference championship. And even though it is entering a new league, coach Charlie Baum expects more of the same.
"I'm pretty excited again, although I'm not sure quite what to expect now that we're in the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference," said Baum, who is in his sixth season as coach. "It'll take a couple of matches to gauge where we are, but I can't imagine that it will be too much more difficult or higher-level people than in our spring league. . . . If it's the same skill level as in the spring league, we should do very, very well."
Nine points will be awarded in each match four for men's singles, two for men's doubles, two for women's singles and one for women's doubles and depth in the men's squad and strength among the women could earn the Wildcats another title.
Returning among the Penn College women is junior Theresa Burrill (Jersey Shore), who won EPCC singles championships the last two years and was half of the league championship winning doubles team.
Others women on whom Baum is counting are freshmen Megan Jesberger (Renovo)and Krystal Sheredos (Bangor), sophomore Lauren O'Donnell (Kennett Square) and junior Tara Heipler (Columbia).
"I'm going to predict that Theresa will win it all again. She's such a solid player and she has so much experience that not many people on other teams will have much of a chance," Baum said.
Vying for the top singles spot among the men are senior Aaron Capp (Red Lion), sophomore Dan Quimby (Wellsboro) and freshman Brian Garito (Clearfield).
Also looking to fill a men's singles spot are freshman Mike Everd (Baltimore), sophomore John Lafferty (Lansdale) and junior Mike Ceresini (Lebanon).
Expected to see doubles action are juniors Spike Krepshaw (Southern Columbia) and Dan Bissell (Academy Park) and sophomore Ed Lawrence (St. Croix).
"I expect better things than last year from this group. (The top three) have pretty good fundamentals and they can hit the ball pretty well, so I expect good things from them," said Baum.
"It's a very deep team, and that's always a good thing. If any of the guys in the upper three are out or can't make a match or get injured, these guys can step up and fill the hole pretty well," he continued.
To promote more competitiveness among his players, Baum is allowing open challenges throughout the season.
"I'm going to have a ladder out there every day at practice and if someone wants to challenge the person ahead of them they can earn their spot," Baum explained.
Beginning with Saturday's home match against Penn State-York, the Wildcats have a dozen regular-season matches scheduled before playoffs and the coach thinks that is where team depth will especially pay off.
"Depth and keeping players healthy is going to be one of the most important things. There are definitely going to be people who can't make every match (due to class conflicts) and that's where depth comes into play for us and other teams.
"I think we will do very well in all of the matches, regardless of who I get for that day. We're in a good spot to do some good things and hopefully we will win the championship," Baum added.