BY DYLAN BESTLER
The Rockland Community College Tennis team will face up against Suffolk Community College in Long Island on Friday to compete for a chance to go to the National Tournament in Plano, Texas from May 15-19.
Coach Joseph Gravanga took over the team five years ago when the program didn’t have much going for them. However since then, the team has had a lot of success, having gone to nationals last year for the first time in 40 years. RCC, currently ranked fifth in its level in the country, has a chance to make school history, never having made the nationals two years in a row.
RCC has a good mix of international and local players including their star, Ulyana Kitcnanuk from East Ramapo. She is playing on the men’s team because the women’s team is not big enough. Kitcnanuk talks about the some of the challenges she faces being a woman playing against men, and how proud she is to be a part of this team.
“Some challenges are people don’t look at you the same as everyone else; the guys are more aggressive,” she said. “It’s an honor to be a part of this team going to nationals. We’ve been working really hard and hopefully the hard work pays off.”
Kitcnanuk is receiving a full scholarship to play at St. Thomas Aquinas College next semester. RCC lost to Suffolk CC earlier this season by the score of 5-4. They hope to avenge the loss and earn a spot in the Plano, Texas. National Tournament.