Five Trinity tennis players competed Oct. 8-12 at the National Small College Championships in Sumter, S.C. in singles and doubles.
Seniors Jordan Mayer and Aaron Skinner won the Men’s Doubles National Championship in Division III.
Junior Adam Krull finished in fifth place in the singles draw.
Sophomore Liza Southwick and first year Marie Lutz also finished fifth in the women’s doubles draw.
Mayer and Skinner had a few tight matches in the opening rounds but swept their last two opponents without dropping a set to claim the title.
“What is nice about that is to see the maturity to be able to pull out those matches…even in the big moments””they don’t shy away from it””they embrace those opportunities,” said men’s head coach Russell McMindes.
Mayer and Skinner won their play-in doubles match by defeating Hoeger and Hewlin of Whitman College (Wash). 6-2, 6-7(5), 1-0(11).
They won their opening round match in the main draw 5-7, 6-2, 1-0(8), taking out the second seeded team of Ruderman and Wagner from Emory University (Ga.).
“From the regional finals up through that match, we won three straight 10 point tiebreakers in order to keep advancing. It was pretty intense, and honestly we just kind of kept getting better and better throughout each round,” Mayer said.
In the semifinal match they beat David Liu and Deepak Sabada of the University of Chicago 6-4, 6-1.
In the championship match, they defeated Connor Hudson and Kalyan Chadalavada of Pomona-Pitzer College (Calif.)6-4, 6-4.
“Whenever you go into a tournament, you always have that goal that you’re going to try to win it, and then when it actually happens it’s kind of like, “˜oh my gosh how did this happen’,” Mayer said.
They then played in the men’s doubles super bowl against the winners of the Division II, NAIA, and junior college draws.
They lost in the first match 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to the eventual champions Deni Zmak and Jaime Sanchez-Canamares of NAIA Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Krull won his singles play-in match Wednesday, Oct. 8, by defeating Zachary Hewlin of Whitman College 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. He then fell to the third seed Matthew Heinrich of Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the opening match of the main draw.
“I knew all the pressure was off because I wasn’t playing for a national championship…I just really knew that I was going to have a couple of great matches against some of the best people in the nation,” Krull said.
In his second round match he beat Motasem Al-Houni of Gustavus Adolphus College 6-1, 6-3. In the fifth place match, he took out the top seed Alex Ruderman of Emory University 6-1, 6-2.
On the women’s team Southwick and Lutz won their play-in doubles match by defeating Courtney Lawless Morgan Lawless of Whitman College 6-4, 3-6, 1-0(7). In their first-round match they came up just short against the third seeds Megan Tang and Ariana Iranpour of the University of Chicago 1-6, 7-6, 1-0(2).
The next round, they took out Laila El Dessouki and Carmen Lai of New York University 6-2, 6-3.
They won a close match for fifth place 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(9) against the fourth-seeded team from Emory of Katarina Su and Anna Fuhr.
“We knew they were good, but we just put our heads down and went to work,” Southwick said. “You really can’t be nervous or else you’re going to lose; you just have to be confident in how you’ve been playing.”
The Tiger men and women tennis teams resume play at the Abilene Christian Indoor Tournament in Abilene, Texas on Feb. 6-7.