Trinity men’s and women’s tennis are well into their seasons, with both performing well. Each is undefeated against their fellow Division III schools, and have shown promise in both singles and doubles competitions.
The women’s tennis most recent matches ended in great success, with the Tigers taking home a 9-0 win against McMurry St. University, and then another 9-0 shutout against Hardin-Simmons University in a round-robin style tournament. Both the doubles and singles teams were victorious, with doubles group Marie Lutz and Zoe Kaffen taking home the No. 1 spot in a 9-8 match, while Liza Southwick took the top spot in singles. The Tigers are currently No. 23 in the nation.
With a history of success, the women’s tennis team brought in a large recruiting class. This young team is looking forward to working on developing the confidence and skills necessary to become as successful as possible.
“As a team I think that we need to continue to play each team with confidence whether it’s a Division I team or Division III especially since we are a young team with the majority of players being freshmen,” said first year Mary Kaffen. “When I visited Trinity I really liked the upperclassmen on the tennis team. They put in a lot of effort to make us enjoy our visit at Trinity. “
The men’s team has also had a strong season opener, with a current 2-0 record against Division III schools, and a 2-2 record overall. The team’s most recent matches ended in a 7-0 loss against Abilene Christian University, and a 9-0 win against Hardin Simmons. The men, despite their success, have struggled with some early-season injuries, but are hoping to use their depth to continue succeeding while the older members get healthy.
“The other teams we have played have been very strong teams that have challenged us. One thing that is a bit hindering is that both of our senior captains are not healthy to play. Hopefully they will be soon,” said first year Jordan Pitts. “As a team, we need to train hard, and work together if we want to be successful. We have the potential. As an individual, I need to make sure I am staying focused every match, and being there for my teammates.”
One unique aspect of Trinity’s tennis program is their ability to play teams outside of Division III. These teams are made up of scholarship athletes, and get far more perks to play than Trinity athletes. Thus far, the men’s team has competed against Division II schools such as St. Marys University and Division I school ACU, while the women’s team has gone head-to-head with Division I school University of the Incarnate Word. While these teams present challenges for the Tigers, they are confident that getting to face off with different talent will help them in the long run.
“Playing Division I and Division II teams give us a whole different style of play that makes us elevate our game,” said sophomore Wilson Lambeth. “We don’t see that kind of talent in Division III play so it makes us play our best.”
Both teams are excited to work towards a championship, knowing that while rankings are nice, only the end of the season counts.
“We have a deep team this year so we expect to go far in the NCAA tournament. We’re not regarded as a top 5 team but I know our guys will compete hard,” Lambeth said.