The Trinity men’s and women’s tennis teams hosted the Trinity Invitational Tournament from Sept. 12-13 against University of the Incarnate Word, St. Mary’s University, St. Edwards University and Laredo Community College.
Rain hampered play for much of the weekend””matches on Friday were called early due to thunderstorms and heavy downpour””but play continued on through Saturday even though the majority of the draws went unfinished because of continued rain.
On the women’s side, junior Gabrielle Roe won a hard-fought match in flight three singles 7-6, 0-6, 13-11 to reach the semifinals on Friday. First year Blaire Porter also advanced in flight two singles winning 7-5, 6-4, but she lost a close match in the next round.
Saturday, sophomores Elena Wilson and Kaitlyn Thompson competed in the flight five singles, placing second and third respectively. First year Marie Lutz and sophomore Liza Southwick reached the fifth place match in flight one doubles with an 8-1 win after dropping their opening match, but the final match was not played.
“We saw some really good potential””especially from the freshmen””we’re really excited about the new talent coming in,” Wilson said.
This was the first collegiate match for the five first years on the squad, and women’s head coach Gretchen Rush was satisfied with their performance.
“I was impressed””they’re fighters and they like to play and they try really hard,” Rush said.
This was Rush’s first tournament as head coach of her alma mater. While at Trinity, Rush was a four-time All-American from 1983-1986.
In addition to being named an All-American, Rush was also awarded the Broderick Award as the best college women’s tennis player in 1986, and was named Women’s Player of the Year in 1984 and 1985.
During her professional career Rush was a quarterfinalist at the French Open, the U.S. Open and Wimbledon.
Even though it is still early in the season, Rush feels that the team is already a close-knit group.
“They’re very cohesive. They’re very incredibly supportive of each other. They look out for each other, and having that team element””that’s something I can’t create,” Rush said.
Many of the men’s players placed high this weekend, but there were also many defaults in the tournament due to injury.
The only championship contested for the men was flight three singles. It was an all-Trinity affair, with junior Connor Dunn edging out first year Alvaro Hobbs 6-2, 7-6 (7-3). Junior Paxton Deuel also won the flight one singles championship by default after his teammate, junior Adam Krull, was unable to play the final match. First year Austin Crist reached the flight six finals with a 6-2, 6-0 win, but the final was canceled due to bad weather.
In doubles, Hobbs and sophomore Chas Mayer beat teammates Crist and Dunn in the flight two semifinals. Senior Pablo Boom and sophomore Manny Brown earned a narrow victory in the flight three semifinals 9-8 (9-7).
“I thought it was a solid performance for the first tournament,” Deuel said. “We all figured out what we need to work on for the next few weeks before regionals.”
This weekend, Sept. 19-21, the women will host the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) regional tournament.
On Sept. 26-27 the men will travel to Tyler, Texas for the ITA regional tournament.