Tiger tennis teams to travel to UTSA/ITA championships

Five Trinity tennis players will travel to the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships in Sumter, South Carolina next week from October 15 to 18.

After sweeping both the men’s singles and doubles crowns at home on Sunday September 27, seniors Paxton Deuel and Adam Krull will travel to Sumter with sophomore Matt Tyler.

Deuel, the 2015 singles champion, was victorious in the final match, winning 6-4, 6-4 over his fellow teammate and last year’s individual champion, Krull.

“It was a great match, and for me, it doesn’t matter who I am playing against but more about my personal game,” Deuel said.

Deuel also expressed that he was glad that Krull and Tyler were able to capture the doubles regional crown.  

Like Krull, Paxton is no newcomer to the USTA/ITA National Championships, as he won the 2013 regional singles title and finished in fifth place as a sophomore at the Championships.

Deuel has been carefully preparing for his trip to Sumter.

“Especially this year, as a senior, I want to be as disciplined as I can be at Nationals,” Deuel said. “I think that if I can execute and continue to play at the level that I have been playing at all fall, I have a really good chance to win. This has been my personal best year at Trinity so far, and I think this is also the best collective team we have had in the past few years.”

On the doubles side, Krull and Tyler dominated the University of Texas-Tyler duo of Ryan Ellwood and Jack Puckey, winning 6-1, 6-1 on Sunday in front of a home crowd at the Butch Newman Tennis Center.

Last year, Krull finished fifth in the men’s singles USTA/ITA National Small College Championships while the pair of graduated seniors Jordan Mayer and Aaron Skinner won the men’s overall doubles crown. Following in the steps of their teammates before them, Krull and Tyler will look to defend the top prize next week at the championships.      

Deuel, Krull and Tyler will be joined by the women’s regional doubles champions, junior Liza Southwick and sophomore Marie Lutz, who defended their title for the second year by decisively defeating the second-ranked duo of Kate Bramlett and Kayla Casey from East Texas Baptist University 7-5, 6-3 in Sunday’s final.

Lutz and Southwick won in the best-of-three sets format, which was used in place of the usual pro set. The regional championships were hosted by Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.

“Marie [Lutz] and I knew what to expect going into regionals this year, and we also feel more confident heading into Nationals because of our experience last fall,” Southwick said.

This will mark Lutz and Southwick’s second trip to the USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southwest Region Women’s “A” Doubles Championship, and the pair looks to top their fifth place finish from last fall.

Like last fall, Southwick and Lutz will have to play in a match on Wednesday in order to advance into the final three rounds in the latter half of next week.

Southwick also reflected on her experience last year in anticipation for her second trip to Sumter.

“Last year I was overwhelmed and nervous, but this year we’ve had an excellent few months of team and individual preparation, and I am excited to compete,” Southwick said.

The Tigers will depart for Sumter on October 13 with the potential of bringing home three USTA/ITA National Small College Championship crowns in the men’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles.