Already an intimidating player on the court, Erin Chratian is a force opposing players won’t be excited to play.
Chratian, a sophomore from Johns Creek, Georgia, has been an asset to the University of Rhode Island’s women’s tennis team since her freshman year. She had a strong freshman career of 17 total victories on the court (10 wins in singles and seven wins in doubles), tying her for the team-high.
Chratian earned Atlantic 10 second team all-conference recognition in the spring of 2019. She is especially known for her singles play, and is the current holder of the number one spot in every match for Rhode Island. Chratian is also part of the number one doubles team for every match.
Even with all the expectations that come with being a team’s number one option, Chratian doesn’t let the pressure get to her.
“Spots aren’t permanent, so I feel grateful to have been the number one spot last year,” said Chratian. “I know my teammates are all competitive and we all love to be there. There is no pressure because in tennis, each match is equal, each match counts the same [and] every line is a point.”
However, things haven’t always been easy for Chratian as a member of the tennis team. She has seen seven coaching changes, and four of the changes were the head coaches, including Tim Murphy, who recruited Chratian, along with three assistant coaches. Although these transitions were not easy, Erin looked to her teammates during this time.
“I know my teammates are such great leaders,” said Chratian. “I know that they will guide me in the right direction for success.”
Val Villucci, the new head coach for Rhody Tennis, is excited to see what Chratian can do this spring season and has big goals for Chratian’s last years in Rhode Island. Villucci believes that the 5’11” sophomore’s potential is tremendous, and is ready to push her to her highest point. Chratian believes that she is easy to coach because she has a strong work ethic, and has already had to adapt to several new coaches and is confident she can do it again.
Rhody Tennis is also something of a family affair for Chratian, as her twin sister Sydney also plays for Rhode Island.
“I really like having Sydney here,” said Chratian. “Not only do I not get homesick, but I really appreciate how she can always be there for me after a hard day of practice or lift. She gives me great emotional support.”
Tennis has always been a family sport for the Chratian sisters. Their dad, Ron Chratian, got the girls into the sport when they were seven. Ever since then, the Chratian twins have been playing competitively. This year, Erin won four out of five matches during single play in the fall, and the doubles team consisting of Erin and Rachel Smilansky won two out of their five doubles matches.