The Trinity spring tennis season is upon us, and both the men’s and women’s teams are hungry for success after falling short of their goals in the fall season championships. Both teams will open their season on Feb. 1 against Birmingham Southern, with ITA Indoor Nationals coming soon after on Feb. 24.
Last season the women’s team accepted a large first-year class. While this makes them younger and less experienced, the team is hopeful that it will serve to make them more competitive at practices. Out of the 18 girls on the tennis team, nine are currently first-years. The men’s team is also relatively young, with under half of the players being upperclassmen. The men, however, are confident this will work to their advantage throughout the season, and plan on using the youthful team to make them stronger players.
“We are really excited for the season,” sophomore Wilson Lambeth said. “We have a lot of guys who can play and that makes everyone work even harder. Hopefully our youth can carry us to a championship this season.”
A SCAC championship is the goal for both teams, not only for conference bragging rights, but to advance the team in post-season standings. A win in the SCAC conference will give either team an automatic bid to playoffs. Both the teams have a long history of performing extremely well at the SCAC championship games, and are planning on continuing that tradition this season. The men’s team has won their past seven SCAC tournaments, and the women’s team has won their last five.
“We are definitely looking forward to being back together and going further than in the past,” senior Liza Southwick said. “We will be focusing on being an even better team than we were in previous years, now that we have more experience and confidence. Everyone is looking forward to winning another SCAC championship, which is the plan.”
The teams have shown themselves to be successful beyond just the SCAC tournament in previous years. In their last spring season, the women had six players chosen for the SCAC all-tournament team and made it to the second round of the NCAA Division III West Regional. Furthermore, current senior Liza Southwick and current junior Marie Lutz played for the NCAA doubles championship. On the men’s side, six players were on the SCAC All-Tournament team and now-graduated all-american Paxton Deuel went to the second round of NCAA Singles. This tradition of success does not come without hard work and sacrifice, and both teams are looking forward to working towards more successes this season.
“The past season was great, and even if we did not reach all our goals, it was an awesome experience,” junior Matt Tyler said. “This season we’re going work on a lot, like keeping a positive attitude in matches.”
The teams have a while to work, as the SCAC tournament will take place in late April. Both the men’s and women’s teams will have their first home match on Feb. 1, with the following Saturday, Feb. 4, also being a home match.