This past Saturday, the Trinity men’s tennis team took part in a doubleheader against two non-conference opponents: the Washington University Bears and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders. In the early match, the Tigers narrowly lost their match against the Bears 6-3. The Tigers then proceeded to blank out the Crusaders 9-0 in the late match.
In terms of individual accolades, senior Paxton Deuel was named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s tennis Player of the Week for going undefeated against Washington University (Wash U), University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) and Gustavus Adolphus College earlier last week.
The Tigers feel confident about their performance as a team and they are looking forward to the upcoming SCAC men’s tennis tournament later this month.
Against Wash U, Deuel won his singles match and also played doubles with a sophomore partner. Deuel also won all three of his doubles matches against UMHB.
“Paxton and I played some solid doubles on Saturday. We knew Washington University would be a tough one, especially with only having one match under our belt, but we pulled through and had a comfortable win,” said sophomore Matt Tyer. “UMHB came out a little slow in the afternoon, and we took advantage with a fast lead from the start, closing out the match without giving much leeway.”
The Tigers started the season ranked No. 5 in the country, but have since moved to No. 12. With the results from this weekend, the Tigers are 12-9 for the season and 10-5 specifically against Division III teams.
“I feel like the team played pretty well with all that’s been going on. We’ve had some ups and downs recently but I feel like we are getting back on the right track,” said junior Clayton Niess.
Blanking out an opponent after losing a close match earlier in the day helped the Tigers’ confidence.
“Winning 9-0 is always a good confidence booster. That kind of result always makes you feel good about the way the team is playing,” Niess said.
A few Tigers including sophomore Matt Tyer have been nursing injuries. Winning 9-0 was a good achievement.
“At the end of the day we ended on a good note, proving that even with a few setbacks we are still ready to play,” Tyer said.
April is a tough month for the Tigers, who are next slated to play the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots on Friday, April 15 before a doubleheader against the Whitman College Missionaries and Schreiner University Mountaineers on Sunday, April 17.
All three matches will be played on Trinity’s campus. The following week is the SCAC Championships tournament at Schreiner in Kerrville.
Tyer is ready for a postseason run.
“I think with the upcoming tournaments, we need to stay focused and get ready to compete. UT Tyler in the regionals will of course be a heated match, but if we compete to our level I think we will finish up the season with a solid run into nationals,” Tyer said.
Clayton Niess sees the team’s confidence increasing. He too is looking forward to the end of the season and the chance at a postseason run.
“I think we are building some confidence going into the end of the season. We should be able keep having strong performances through the SCAC tournament to set up NCAAs. I think we are all ready for the tournament play,” Niess said.