The Trinity men’s tennis team competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Southwest Regional Tournament from Sept. 26-29 in Tyler, Texas.
They were dominant in every draw, with all of the finalists in “A” doubles and singles coming from Trinity. All three players that advanced to the National Small College Championships Oct. 9-12 in Sumter, S.C. after regionals were in Tyler, Tex.
“Our goal is to always get somebody out either in singles or doubles, and we feel like we have the strength in our roster to do that,” said head coach Russell McMindes.
In singles, junior Adam Krull came away with the victory, beating No. 8 Casjen Rico of McMurry University 6-2, 6-2 to advance.
“My goal was to play an aggressive style of tennis and put myself in a position to go far in the tournament in singles and doubles,” Krull said.
In doubles, No. 4 seniors Aaron Skinner and Jordan Mayer defeated their teammates, juniors Paxton Deuel and Krull, 3-6, 6-2, 14-12, to advance as well.
“I think everyone performed really well”¦everyone won matches, we had a couple upsets, we took out a couple of seeds””which was good,” said sophomore Clayton Niess.
Going into the weekend, Trinity had the top five seeds in the “A” singles draw. Deuel, the top seed, was the defending champion of last year’s tournament.
Deuel cruised into the semifinals””dropping only 3 games””where he faced Rico, and fell 2-6, 3-6.
Krull dropped five games on his way to the semifinals, where he defeated No. 2 Skinner 6-2, 6-3 in an all-Trinity semifinal.
“The early rounds I had the opportunity to kind of work on my game a little bit, and I was using the early rounds to prepare for the tougher opponents I knew I’d be facing later in the tournament,” Krull said.
The big upset this weekend was on the doubles side in the first round. The team of junior Connor Dunn and senior Pablo Diaz Boom upset the top seeds Harry Kelleher and Chris Wootton of UT-Tyler 8-2.
On Monday, the doubles final was contested, and it was another all-Trinity affair.The second seeds Deuel and Krull blanked Gabriel Aboitz and Rico from McMurry 8-0 in their semifinal.
On the other side of the draw, No. 4 Skinner and Mayer narrowly beat teammates senior Charlie Curtis and Niess 9-7 to make it to the final.
McMindes believes the number of top finishers that his team had this weekend says a lot about the team as a whole.
“It tells me we’ve got a lot of depth, and we have guys that are very strong and capable of great things,” McMindes said.
The spring season for the Tigers begins Friday, Feb. 6, at the Abilene Christian University indoors in Abilene, Texas.