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Veterans Look to Vault Women's Tennis into the Post-Season

Veterans Look to Vault Women's Tennis into the Post-Season

Erin Phillips is the new Women's Tennis Coach at Wentworth after serving as the interim head coach during the spring season. Phillips is not a new member of Wentworth Athletics, as she is also an assistant basketball coach under Amanda Devitt the past two seasons. The new tennis coach was a well-decorated two sport athlete while attending Salve Regina. Her many accomplishments include being a first-team all-conference singles player each season and all-conference doubles all three years with two different partners. On the basketball court, she was named Commonwealth Coast Conference Player of the Year and is currently in second all-time with 1,498 points. Phillips is hoping her success as a player can translate as she transitions to being the coach. Wentworth athletics recently sat down with Coach Phillips to get her thoughts on the upcoming season.

WIT: First, congratulations on the new position.  I know you were coaching quite a bit of tennis during the summer.
EP: I work with a non-profit organization called Tenacity. I taught kids of all ages, anywhere from six to fifteen. We teach tennis, but it's also coupled with literacy skills as well. It's great to get them exposure to the sport.

WIT: Being a first time head coach can be challenging, where do you get your philosophy from?
Much of what I teach is what I've learned from my former coaches and experiences as a player. I'm a big proponent of having a positive outlook on things and not dwelling on the negative aspects. I really push my players to be positive as well.

WIT: With this being your first full season with the program, how has it gone so far?
 It's going really well. I think the girls are catching on with what I'm trying to do with the program. They're buying into the direction I want to go which is great.

WIT: Being an assistant basketball coach as well, how different is your approach to coaching tennis?
 I definitely have a different approach being a head coach. Tennis is as much individual as it is team. You have to concentrate a bit more on each girl's individual game and mental state. With basketball it's a little easier to focus on the team. I'm also more outspoken as a head coach because I've had to take on much more of a leadership role.

WIT: The Leopards were 2-6 in conference last year, what is your outlook this season?
EP:  We definitely want to improve on that. We had a meeting recently about team expectations and we have higher aspirations. They believe we can reach our goals, which is extremely important.

WIT: Who do you look to in terms of impact players?
  Our two seniors – Olivia Hegner and Deborah Massaro – are going to be two big impact players. They have the knowledge of being here for four years. Sophomore Caitlin Corcoran is going to be one of our top players. She is coming off rookie of the year honors so hopefully she can ride that success into this season.

The women's tennis team will start the season with a home match against Rhode Island College on August 31 at 12 p.m. All home games this year will be played at Harvard University.