Gallagher reflects on personal growth at the forefront


Jeff Helsel

Photo of Cal U tennis player Charlie Gallagher courtesy of Jeff Helsel, SAI.

Danny Beeck, Sports Editor

Throughout Charlie Gallagher’s collegiate tennis career, she has seen three different coaches, along with a roster shrink from about ten players, to the current roster of six. With the changes, adapting is imperative for her success looking forward.

“With a small team, there is more pressure put on everyone,” Gallagher said. “When it comes to injuries, if you are overworking or even underworking yourself, you are putting your own body at risk which could compromise the team as a whole.”

With a 0-4 record through the midpoint of the season, the weather has been their toughest opponent due to scheduling matches and how the team as a whole operates.

“When we practice here, we are on clay courts,” Gallagher said. “When we go into our matches, we find that most of them are played on hard courts. That means I can’t slide, or use what I practiced in my game.”

Gallagher’s doubles partner this season, Elizabeth Wohar, joined the tennis team in 2015 and was a part of the top-ranked regional team, along with the 26th ranked team in the nation. Like Gallagher, Wohar has adopted a leadership role on the team in order to grow together.

“Even though in tennis you might be faced against a single person, you are competing as a team,” Wohar said. ““When you go into a match, you know it’s a best of nine games. Every girl on this team needs that win, because it helps everyone as a whole.”

As the role players in the locker room, Wohar and Gallagher discuss the importance of communication playing a big part in not only the success on the court, but also with each other.

“As doubles partners, Liz has a really great attitude,” Gallagher said. “She picks me up at times that I get a little heated when we play.”

Facing the fourth-ranked doubles team in the region earlier this season, Wohar and Gallagher are hoping to “light the fire” going into the final games of the season. Two contests against conference foes, Slippery Rock and Clarion, are opportunities to flip the script on the landscape of their season thus far. 

“Our coach this year has really done a good job with recruiting,” Gallagher said. “We are going to travel more for tournaments, and she plans on bringing in more girls. The aspect of more girls means more opportunities to compete, and another chance to earn your spot on the team. When there are more girls on your team, that is going to motivate you even more.”

California sits in last place in the PSAC West, but with only four games played this season, they have played fourteen fewer games than the league leaders IUP. Their next contest is set for April 14 at 12 p.m. in California, Pa. when they take on Slippery Rock University.