Trinity women’s team tennis goes 2-1 at ACU

The women opened their 2015 spring season at the ACU Indoor Tournament with a sweep of Texas A&M Prairie View University and Hardin-Simmons University the first day, but fell in the final match to host ACU.

“We competed very hard this weekend, and fought for every point in every match,” said Caroline White. “We played smart and consistent, and did a great job staying in each point.”

Friday afternoon, the women faced A&M Prairie View, a Division I team, and earned a 5-2 victory.

After the doubles, the Tigers were down 1-2. Their lone win came from Cheyenne Duncan and Gabrielle Roe at the No. 3 line with a 6-1 victory.

Trinity then won five of the six singles matches to earn their first victory of the season. The lone loss was Liza Southwick at No. 1; she fell 6-2, 6-1.

Later that evening, the Tigers swept Hardin-Simmons University 9-0 without dropping a set.

In the doubles competition, Marie Lutz and Southwick won 8-3 at No. 1, Blaire Porter and Kristy Hamilton won 8-2 at No. 2, and Duncan and Roe won 8-1 once again at No. 3.

Southwick clinched the match for the Tigers at No. 1 singles with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Lutz, Porter and Nicole Rueb also earned singles victories in the match.

Saturday morning they lost 6-1 to ACU.

“Against Abilene it was tough to keep the rallies long since they hit with a lot of power and tried to end the point quickly. I think we all did a great job of realizing that and trying to mix up the points as much as possible,” White said.

ACU won the top two doubles matches as well at the top five singles matches in straight sets to clinch the win.

Last season, the Tiger women made it to the second round of the regional tournament where they lost to Mary Washington University 5-1. The women look to improve as the season goes on with a young team and a new head coach at the helm.

“Even though we don’t have any seniors, everyone on the team is a leader in their own way,” White said. “Liza, Gabi and Kristy are all really good captains this year. They lead the team in a really positive way.”

The men open their 2015 spring season with matches this weekend in North Texas including the ACU Indoor Tournament.

“The first weekend up at ACU we’ll have a couple of matches to give us a feel of how it is all meshing and coming together,” said men’s head coach Russell McMindes. “We use that as a stepping-stone to get us ready for national indoors.”

The men come into this spring season with a lot of momentum from last season’s third place finish at the National Championship tournament as well as from great finishes in the fall at the ITA National Small College Tournament.

Aaron Skinner and Jordan Mayer won the National Title in doubles making them the top ranked doubles team in Division III coming into the spring.

Last season, the Tigers fell to Amherst College 5-3 in the semifinal round after upsetting the third seeded Washington-St. Louis University 5-1 in the previous round.

The last time that the Tigers fell in the National Semifinals they won the National Championship the next season, 1999-2000.

After only graduating two seniors from last year’s squad, the team will look to build on the experience of making it to the National Semifinals last year as they move forward this season.

“It makes it easier to handle. You don’t necessarily over-hype it as much. You go there and you’re just playing tennis,” Skinner said.

Along with the experience from last season, depth will be important for the Tigers in close matches this season.

“Added depth is one of those things that it is a good problem to have because you have a lot of guys that are capable. It keeps all the guys sharp because they are playing against high caliber players consistently,” McMindes said.

The Trinity men open their season at 2 p.m. today, Friday Feb. 6, at Hardin-Simmons (Abilene, Texas). At 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 they will face Tyler Junior College in their first match at the ACU Indoor Tournament and at 6 p.m. they play the host school, ACU. At 3 p.m. also on Saturday, the women will travel across Highway 281 to take on the University of the Incarnate Word.