This past Saturday, the Trinity menâ€™s tennis team took part in a doubleheader against two non-conference opponents: the Washington University Bears and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders. In the early match, the Tigers narrowly lost their match against the Bears 6-3. The Tigers then proceeded to blank out the Crusaders 9-0 in the late match.
In terms of individual accolades, senior Paxton Deuel was named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference menâ€™s tennis Player of the Week for going undefeated against Washington University (Wash U), University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) and Gustavus Adolphus College earlier last week.
The Tigers feel confident about their performance as a team and they are looking forward to the upcoming SCAC menâ€™s tennis tournament later this month.
Against Wash U, Deuel won his singles match and also played doubles with a sophomore partner. Deuel also won all three of his doubles matches against UMHB.
â€œPaxton and I played some solid doubles on Saturday. We knew Washington University would be a tough one, especially with only having one match under our belt, but we pulled through and had a comfortable win,â€ said sophomore Matt Tyer. â€œUMHB came out a little slow in the afternoon, and we took advantage with a fast lead from the start, closing out the match without giving much leeway.â€
The Tigers started the season ranked No. 5 in the country, but have since moved to No. 12. With the results from this weekend, the Tigers are 12-9 for the season and 10-5 specifically against Division III teams.
â€œI feel like the team played pretty well with all thatâ€™s been going on. Weâ€™ve had some ups and downs recently but I feel like we are getting back on the right track,â€ said junior Clayton Niess.
Blanking out an opponent after losing a close match earlier in the day helped the Tigersâ€™ confidence.
â€œWinning 9-0 is always a good confidence booster. That kind of result always makes you feel good about the way the team is playing,â€ Niess said.
A few Tigers including sophomore Matt Tyer have been nursing injuries. Winning 9-0 was a good achievement.
â€œAt the end of the day we ended on a good note, proving that even with a few setbacks we are still ready to play,â€ Tyer said.
April is a tough month for the Tigers, who are next slated to play the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots on Friday, April 15 before a doubleheader against the Whitman College Missionaries and Schreiner University Mountaineers on Sunday, April 17.
All three matches will be played on Trinityâ€™s campus. The following week is the SCAC Championships tournament at Schreiner in Kerrville.
Tyer is ready for a postseason run.
â€œI think with the upcoming tournaments, we need to stay focused and get ready to compete. UT Tyler in the regionals will of course be a heated match, but if we compete to our level I think we will finish up the season with a solid run into nationals,â€ Tyer said.
Clayton Niess sees the teamâ€™s confidence increasing. He too is looking forward to the end of the season and the chance at a postseason run.
â€œI think we are building some confidence going into the end of the season. We should be able keep having strong performances through the SCAC tournament to set up NCAAs. I think we are all ready for the tournament play,â€ Niess said.