This past weekend, Trinity women’s tennis competed in the ITA Regional competition. The ITA competition, which is a separate entity from NCAA tennis, sees the players competing as individual athletes, as well as pairs of doubles partners. Those who qualify at regionals will be awarded a spot to attend the ITA Nationals.
Both the singles player and doubles team represented by Trinity placed second in the overall competition. No. 1 seed Liza Southwick, a senior, won runner-up. She lost to Kathy Joseph of University of Texas at Dallas, who was seeded third.
“The hardest part of the tournament was having so many people advance to the final day of match play, yet nobody moving on to ITA nationals next month,” said Marie Lutz, senior tennis player. “ITA Regionals are a marathon, with six matches in singles and five in doubles, which makes for a really long three days. That being said, our team fought hard and competed well throughout the tournament.”
Lutz and Southwick, the No.1 seeded double team, had won the Regional A Doubles Championship each of the past two years, but lost this year to UT Dallas’s team of Kathy Joseph and Melanie Marlin, the No. 2 seed.
Despite not advancing to Nationals, the Tigers played well at Regionals and will now focus their attention on preparing for the spring season, which will open at home on Feb. 1.
This weekend, the Trinity men’s tennis team is headed to the men’s Division III ITA Regional competition, with the same goal in mind the girls held.
“There’s always that goal that if you win regionals, you get to continue on to nationals,” said Chas Meyer, senior tennis player. “It’s a lot of tough matches, a lot of competitive matches, but at the end of the day, if you play well and you work through it, there’s a nice little reward.”
In order to prepare for the upcoming week of competition, the men’s tennis team has been practicing through match play.
“We do challenge matches on Saturdays if we don’t have tournaments,” said Matt Tyer, junior tennis player. “We go for six or seven hours among ourselves to kind of position ourselves, to rank ourselves.”
The boys foresee their biggest competition being the host school, University of Texas at Tyler.
“Me and Adam [Krull] played our hardest match against UT Tyler and barely won in a tiebreak, and this year they got two or three new Brazilians that are really good,” said Tyer. “I think we have a shot of at least making it to the finals of regionals and hopefully qualifying for nationals.”
The Tigers are advancing with positive attitudes.
“It’s easy to get down on yourself, especially in tennis. You know, singles, you’re out there by yourself,” Meyer said. “Staying positive, not getting down on yourself when things don’t go your way.”
Despite being an individually played sports, Tyer says communication is key to performing well.
“The biggest thing is probably communication,” Tyer said. “[Communication] is what really separates teams that win from those that don’t.”
This tournament provides a test for the Tigers, offering a great opportunity to advance to a national tournament.