Learning experience in Public Courts open doubles
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jordan Kerns and Silvana Slusarciuc have learned so much about themselves and their game this summer.
Kerns, a former standout at Hurricane High School who has played the past two seasons at West Virginia State, and the 16-year-old Slusarciuc, who is the younger sister of State senior Andreea Slusarciuc and is visiting from Romania, decided to team up at Public Courts.
The duo's run through the women's open doubles division came to a halt Wednesday night in the semifinals as they lost to Public Courts veterans Mary Liberatore and Jo Marie Bohn 6-2, 6-0 at Schoenbaum Courts in Kanawha City.
In spite of the setback, Kerns and Silvana Slusarciuc, who won their opening match of Public Courts, have gleaned much from the week they've spent together on the court.
"I played two years ago with my uncle in the mixed [doubles],'' said Kerns. "I didn't play last year. This is the first time playing the women's open [doubles].
"We've gotten a lot of good experience with not very much pressure. We were down in the tiebreaker 6-1 in our [first] match and we came back and won 8-6. I think to always keep fighting. Just never give up. I think it was good to just play with someone new.''
Kerns and Andreea Slusarciuc helped the Yellow Jackets to a No. 47 national ranking, which had reached as high as No. 37, in NCAA Division II this past season.
State, which finished with an 18-9 record, also advanced to its first Atlantic Regional finals. The Yellow Jackets qualified for regionals after capturing the West Virginia Conference tournament last October.
Kerns and Andreea Slusarciuc also work together teaching tennis at the Teays Valley Tennis Center. Silvana Slusarciuc has been hanging out with the two this summer, playing as much tennis as possible.
Andreea and Silvana Slusarciuc, who just completed her freshman year of high school, hail from Timisoara, Romania.
The Slusarciucs are getting as much out of Public Courts as they can. They are paired together in the siblings division while Andreea has advanced to the women's open singles final Saturday.
"This is great,'' said Silvana of Public Courts. "We don't have events like this where everyone in town plays.
"I've never played doubles in a tournament just for fun. I played a lot here, much more than home. I really gained some important skills. My serves and my backhand are better.''
Silvana has fallen in love with Public Courts and Charleston.
"I want to come back and play in college or high school,'' she smiled. "It's so different from home. The people are so different, but I like it here. I haven't had the chance to see everything, but I like it all.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.