This past weekend, the men’s tennis team traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III National Men’s Team Indoor Championship (ITA). The team started off with two tough losses against Emory University and Case Western Reserve University, but later defeated Kenyon College to place seventh in the tournament.
The No. 14 team had a rough start, but as the tournament progressed they found their rhythm. The team played well in their double matches, winning six out of nine, but could not carry it over to the singles. One of the strengths of this team is the ability to work together on the court.
“Although we didn’t perform to our potential, we have some things to look at positively,” said first year Jordan Pitts. “Our doubles was solid, and we blended well as a team. We have talent, but are working on putting it on the court.”
Playing against the No. 2 team Emory, the Tigers suffered a 7-2 loss. During each round, they competed in three doubles matches and six singles matches. Against Emory, Trinity won two of the three doubles matches, but lost every singles match. Competing in the No. 1 slot, sophomore Wilson Lambeth and junior Matt Tyer won their doubles match 8-4. Seniors Chas Mayer and Clayton Niess won the No. 3 line 8-4 as well.
In the semifinals, the Tigers were defeated by Case Western Reserve 5-4. Lambeth and Tyer won the No. 1 line 7-1. Mayer and Niess won their doubles match 8-3, giving the team a 2-1 lead going into singles. Mayer won his singles match 6-3, 6-1 and Pitts won his match 6-2, 6-4 but the other three members were defeated.
“We’re all in shape, we just need to play as a team and get hyped for doubles and singles,” Lambeth said.
On Sunday afternoon, the team won their third round of the tournament against Kenyon. Mayer and Niess won their third doubles match 8-3 while Pitts and sophomore Liam Crawley took their first doubles victory of 8-5 in the tournament. In the singles matches, No. 2 Mayer defeated his opponent 6-4, 6-1. Pitts took home the No. 3 line victory 7-2, 2-6, 6-3. First year Mckenna Fujitani won his matches 6-4, 6-0 and sophomore Tilden Oliver took home the victory 7-5, 6-0.
“Going forward I am absolutely convinced we have the potential to be a top team in the country,” Crawley said. “This tournament has given us the motivation we needed in order to step up and prove the potential I know each of us possess.”
Mayer was selected SCAC men’s tennis player of the week for his outstanding performance in both his doubles and singles matches. He won all three doubles matches, and finished 2-1 in singles.
The Tigers are planning on continuing to work hard and take what they learned at this tournament to practice. Their next tournament will be in Orlando on Mar. 12 to 15 and they will play their first round against Kenyon. They will play at home on Sunday, Mar. 26, against Gustavus Adolphus College and Linfield College.