All-American page and tennis team prepare for spring

From Guisborough, England to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, came a tennis star who was recently named to the ITA All-American team.

Lois Page, a junior psychology student with a minor in communication, brandished her first racket when she was just six after watching the England-based Wimbledon tennis tournament and feeling inspired to hit the court. One night she and her father went to their local court, but were disappointed that the gates were locked. Instead, Page and her father played in the parking lot next to the square for hours until she got the momentum.

“I started playing competitively when I was around 12,” said Page.

Taking her sport seriously was associated with responsibility, the same responsibility that she has today, when SRU tennis head coach Matt Meredith Page sees it as the team leader.

Page is from England but came to the United States to attend Slippery Rock University and continue her athletic and academic career as a freshman.

“I had to do a recruiting video and when I spoke to the coach I knew Slippery Rock was all I was looking for,” said Page, adding how the academics, campus and team in their final choice of The Rock were taken into account. “I went to visit and everyone was so nice and the coach was great too. He really made me feel at home. “

Student athletes do their best in an environment where they feel comfortable. For Page, that setting was the Slippery Rock tennis court.

The best part was doing it with her best friend. After an amazing year as a team, twin partners and best friends Page and Viola Lugmayr won the regional tournament not just once, but twice together.

The regional tournament is a gateway to the Nationals, which all divisions belong to: Divisions I, II, III, NAIA and other small or religious colleges can participate. It’s a big deal to win nationally, and Page and Lugmayr have earned ITA All-American titles.

“I’m from England and my partner was from Austria. That was pretty cool too,” said Page.

As for the girl’s trainer, Meredith is impressed with her skills and teamwork, as well as the title they have earned.

“You’re only the second to do this here at SRU. It’s really an amazing achievement,” Meredith said.

He added that he has been training for a total of 23 years and had not done so since the fifth year of his career at SRU.

“It’s nice to see the team progress, they are all so special in their own way,” he said.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic took time for the tennis team over the past year. Tennis is played both in autumn and in spring, but divided into team games in one semester and individually for the other.

Players should finally be back on the pitch next month. Meredith said the team will play their first game against Carnegie Mellon University on the first weekend in March.

In the meantime, Page is also making plans for the future.

“I hope to find a job in sports psychology after graduation so I can stay in the sport,” said Page.

She added that despite the challenges, COVID-19 gave her an extra year of funding that she will hopefully use in her future at the graduate school.

Coach Meredith always urges his players to believe in their abilities. Page believed in herself and earned her right as an ITA All-American, a once-in-a-lifetime achievement she can now achieve again.

Madison Williams is a sophomore communications and converged journalism major with a minor in sports management. Madison is a first year anchor on The Rocket News and WSRU-TV. Upon graduation, Madison plans to get a job in sports broadcasting.

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