Penn College Tennis Coach Has Sights Set on PSUAC Championship

Published 10.23.2008


Already enjoying its best season since 2004, when it went unbeaten and won a conference championship, the Pennsylvania College of Technology tennis team is poised for more this year.

The Wildcats, 10-2 during the regular season, go into this weekend's Penn State University Athletic Conference championships as a favorite along with Penn State York, according to first-year coach Aimee Plastow. But Plastow makes no secret about who she thinks will win.

"We had a fantastic regular season. We lost to two other strong teams in the conference (Penn State York and Penn State Hazleton), but we lost to them when we were short some players. I feel we are definitely in contention for No. 1 in the conference," the coach said. "We're one of the strong teams going in and, if everybody plays their game, we should fare pretty well and accomplish what we hope to."

According to Plastow, at least three Penn College singles players should be seeded at the top in their respective positions when play gets under way Saturday morning at the main campus of Penn State University. They are Shane Burridge (Ephrata) at No. 1 men's singles, Austin Moran (Mount Joy) at No. 2 men's singles and Erica Logan (Montoursville) at No. 1 women's singles. During the regular season Burridge was 12-0, Moran 10-0 and Logan 11-0.

Also competing for the Wildcats in men's singles will be Robert Kemrer (Milton), at the No. 3 position, and Ryan Bellis (Pen Argyl), at the No. 4 spot. Kemrer takes a 9-3 record into the tournament and Bellis is 4-6. Joining Logan in women's singles will be Rachel Emmons (Washington, N.J.), who is 5-5 on the season. A year ago, Kemrer won the No. 4 men's singles title and teamed for the No. 2 men's doubles crown. As a team, the Wildcats placed third last year.

Penn College doubles teams will consist of Burridge-Moran at No. 1 and Kemrer-Dan Kerstetter (Milton) at No. 2 for the men and Logan-Angela Charcas (Williamsport) at No. 1 for the women. Burridge-Moran were 9-1 in the regular season, Kemrer-Kerstetter 5-6 and Logan-Charcas 7-1.

Although their results won't count toward the team score, three other Wildcat men are scheduled to compete in a No. 5 men's singles event. They are Jon English (Hershey), Kyle Canavan (Erie) and Chris Carroll (Norristown).

Barring rain and a move indoors, all matches will be a best-of-three format. If play is moved indoors, it will become an eight-game pro-set. Play will wrap up Sunday with the semifinals and finals.

Assessing how some of her players have elevated their games since the beginning of the season, Plastow said, "Shane Burridge is playing some of the most remarkable tennis I have ever seen. His game has just gone up and up and up. Austin has been battling some injuries, but assuming he's feeling OK, his game is solid. Erica is a very strong player, very powerful. She definitely does outpower her opponents. Her game honestly hasn't been tested. Emmons, of all the female players, has shown tremendous improvement."

Assuming the seeds come in the way she expects, Plastow sees her team as getting off to a good start Saturday.

"With Shane and Austin getting a No. 1 and Rob maybe getting a No. 2, Erica getting a No. 1, if they win their first round, we're going to gain some really quick points; then you get your bye points and winning the round points.

"We've set ourselves up for a potential conference championship, we really have.

"This has been a team that has worked so well together. It's almost been like a dream team. They're a great bunch of people. They've worked hard at their game. They've done everything I've asked. I'm looking for good things out of all of them," Plastow added.