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‘Lost season’ motivates Penn College men’s tennis player

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Shock. Dismay. Anger. Pennsylvania College of Technology spring sports athletes experienced myriad emotions March 12 when it was announced that their seasons had been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is the third in a series on the reactions of student-athletes whose careers or seasons were cut short.)

Tucker Phillippe-Johansson was coming off one of the best seasons ever for a Penn College men’s tennis player.

Last year as a freshman, he won the North Eastern Athletic Conference No. 2 singles championship, teamed to win the No. 2 doubles title, which earned him All-NEAC first-team honors, and was named the NEAC Rookie of the Year.

There was plenty for him to be excited about coming into this spring as the team’s No. 1 singles player.

Phillippe-Johansson played both basketball and tennis at Mattituck High School in Mattituck, New York, but at Penn College, he’s concentrating on tennis.

Enrolled in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration, he said he chose to attend Penn College “because of the opportunities it would give me to succeed with my education and with athletics. The facilities for the technology program were amazing.

“My expectations for coming into the college sports program were to be part of a team and meet new people who also have a love for the game like I do. I also was hoping to further develop my skills as a tennis player.”

Assessing his rookie season, Phillippe-Johansson said, “I have achieved some of my goals, like getting rookie of the year and playing first singles, but the goal that’s most important to me is for the team to get to playoffs and win.

“My goal for entering this season was to win as many games as I could so, when it came to the NEAC tournament, I would have a shot at winning the singles championship and player of the year, but the most important goal for this season for me was for my team to make playoffs and win.”

Those hopes were dashed, however, when he received an email stating that “all athletics were canceled for the remainder of the season.”

“My reaction to the news was very upsetting because of how ready I was for the season and how much I was looking forward to the season,” he said, “but this just motivates me to be even better next season.

“My thoughts about it today are that, even though it’s upsetting the season is over, it is in the best for everyone’s health and to keep everyone safe. I am hoping that everyone comes through this safely.”

Specifically, what does missing the season mean to him?

“I won’t be able to be with my teammates and get better as a team,” Phillippe-Johansson said.

And his advice for any potential high school athletes who plan on attending college?

“This college will give you every opportunity that you need to become a great person on and off the field. You just need to take advantage of those opportunities and work hard,” he added.

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS
Baseball
Final overall: 5-5
NEAC: 0-0
Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Softball
Final overall: 5-4
NEAC: 0-0
Spring Break Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Archery
Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Women’s Tennis
Final overall: 1-5 (1-4 fall season)
NEAC: 0-0
Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Men’s Tennis
Final overall: 1-5 (1-4 fall season)
NEAC: 0-0
Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Golf
Spring season canceled, coronavirus

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 35