Earlier this year, Pitt announced that 2019 would be the final year for its tennis program. That announcement sort of coincided with one that was made a little while earlier for the school’s decision to add lacrosse.
The Panthers finished their last tennis season this week with a 4-1 loss to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. For the year, the Panthers were 4-18 overall and winless in the ACC.
That, unfortunately, has been the program with the program. Pitt’s tennis program hasn’t been great as a whole, stringing together several losing years in a row.
Now, the Panthers have been more competitive in the past than they have been the last few years. In 2011-12, the team was .500 with a 10-10 record and in the 2000s, they had several winning years. But in terms of competing on a national level, the program just didn’t get there.
Coach Alex Santos had great words for the players in the program after the Notre Dame loss. “I’m so proud of the way this team represented this program, athletic department and University,” said Santos. “There are no words to describe how classy, resilient, and passionate these girls were throughout the entire season. I know that they will have bright futures ahead of them. In my name and in the name of the entire staff, I just want them to know that we feel blessed in having coached them, and that the relationships we built are for life.”
While you hate to see any program dissolved, the good news is that Pitt is at least replacing it with a sport where they can be more competitive. Lacrosse is a booming sport in Pennsylvania and that should hopefully encourage skilled local high school players to stay home and attend Pitt.
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