STEUBENVILLE, Ohio—Lady Baron tennis kicked off the 2013 season with a dominating 9-0 win over conference opponent University of Pitt-Bradford. The win was an exciting start for a program that lost four of six members from last year's regular season conference champion team.
With only two returning players the Lady Barons lineup consists primarily of freshmen who were playing their first NCAA match and who have only been together for two weeks.
Despite their lack of experience time to gel as a team, Franciscan was in control of the match from start to finish and displayed a surprising amount of composure and chemistry.
"The girls were very mentally tough despite the pressure of it being their first match," Head Coach Jenna Lynch said. "They really did a good job of closing out their matches."
"The team has already established a phenomenal sense of unity," Lynch said. "That played a huge part in the fresh double teams not being a big deal."
With so many new faces on the team, Lynch said she and her two returning players have decided not to reference back to last year and how they've fair against certain teams in previous seasons. Instead they're focusing on what they can control.
"Before we went in I talked about how unimportant it was who we played, and how much more important it was how we played," Lynch said.
After one game, the strategy seems to be working. Lynch said her team was able to concentrate on their opponent and not let the mental aspect of the game get in the way of their skill.
"I didn't see a whole lot of mental mistakes due to pressure," Lynch said. "Overall they did very well."
The Lady Barons will play a second straight conference match tomorrow at Penn St. – Behrend at 1 pm.