Last weekend, Jan. 31 through Feb. 1, the Trinity men’s tennis team opened up their spring season in Abilene, Texas, with three matches. The Tigers faced off against Abilene Christian University on Friday morning, McMurry University Friday afternoon and Tyler Junior College, who are the reigning Junior College Champions, Saturday morning.
“We won both matches on Friday; we beat ACU for the first time ever. First time we have beaten a DI program in as far as I can remember and then beat McMurry. Then Saturday we lost 4-5 to Tyler Junior College, but we still played well. It was an extremely positive weekend,” said head coach Russell McMindes.
Players agree that, while the weekend was not full of wins, it was still very good and there were lots of positives to work off of.
“The whole trip was a great start to the season and we have a lot to look forward to in the couple months coming up. We’re all really excited to prove that we can belong at the top. We just have to go about one match at a time,” said first year Chas Mayer.
The Tigers came into the spring season ranked eighth in the nation based on last year’s results, and while this is a high standing, McMindes believes they are better than last year and will show that during this season.
“I believe that we have the tools in this team to make a serious run at winning the whole thing, and that is something we have talked about, and understand that it is going to take a lot of work and a little luck, but everything is going to fall into place along the way. We are just going to take it one week at a time and set many goals each week and go from there,” McMindes said.
The last time Trinity won the DIII National Championship was in 2000, and many feel that this could be their year once again.
“The long-term goal is definitely to get a national championship,” said sophomore Eliot Guin.
Director of tennis, Butch Newman, adds to Guin’s comment.
“It is the best team the men have had since they won (the national championship) in 2000. You need three things; the players and you’ve got that, you need the coach and you’ve got that and now all they need is a little luck,” Newman said.