The Trinity tennis team hosted their annual Quad Tournament this past weekend to open up the fall season. The tournament played host to the University of Incarnate Word, Laredo Community College, St. Mary’s University and St. Edward’s University. The tournament was broken down into different flights, where a school’s No. 1 and No. 2 members would make up the first flight, and so on. On Friday, play started at noon. Each team member played two doubles matches and one singles match.
“I thought the tournament went well. We had two of our returners, who were also starters, sitting out, so it was a good opportunity for some of the guys to play higher than they normally play and show how ready they were to contribute this year. We didn’t win as many flights as we did last year but we had some good showings from our new guys, from our returners, so overall I was pleased with the level we showed, considering we only had a few weeks of practice,” said head men’s tennis coach Russell McMindes.
All Trinity members in their respective flights, with the exception of one, won their singles matches and advanced to the next round of play. Many players won their matches in straight sets; senior captain Greg Haugen ground out a 6-3, 5-7, 10-6 win.
“Overall, the matches went well. I won my first match against Jared Fellows from St. Mary’s. It was a grind. The heat was grueling but I pushed through to win the match. Nerves were a huge factor in the breakout match of the season; after losing a huge lead, I rallied back to win in a third set tiebreaker,” Haugen said.
In doubles play, first-year partners, Ian Logan and Roland Green reached their flight’s finals. Haugen and sophomore Connor Dunn of Flight 1 won their opening match, but fell in the semifinals, as did Paxton Deuel and Aaron Skinner.
The women’s team’s Caroline White, Kristy Hamilton, Stephanie Williamson and Elena Wilson all won their singles flights to advance to the semifinals.
In doubles, Flight 1 team Kylie Hornbeck and Liza Southwick reached the fifth and sixth place match. Teams White and Kathleen Lundquist, as well as Lavinia Bendandi and Gabrielle Roe, advanced from their opening matches, but ultimately lost in the semifinals.
On Saturday, each player competed in two singles matches and one doubles match. Pablo Diaz Boom defeated Luke Trautman of Incarnate Word 6-0, 6-3 to earn the Flight 4 singles title. Teammates Deuel and Haugen battled for third place in Flight 1, with Deuel ultimately winning 6-4, 3-6, 10-6. First year Chas Mayer advanced to the Flight 2 singles final, but lost to Hector Ramirez of Laredo Community College. Dunn took third in Flight 2, and Brandon Thompson finished third in Flight 5.
In doubles, Logan and Green competed in the Flight 4 doubles final, but fell 8-5 to St. Mary’s. Haugen and Dunn won third place in the Flight 1 series, defeating teammates Deuel and Skinner.
On the women’s side, Hamilton advanced to the finals of Flight 3, but lost to Taryn Strahl of Incarnate Word. First year Elena Wilson advanced to the Flight 5 Singles final, but lost to Briana Fellows of St. Mary’s. In doubles, both Hamilton and senior teammate Stephanie Williamson, as well as senior partners Michelle Gun-Munro and Laura Roa, advanced to the respective Flight 2 and Flight 3 doubles finals, but ultimately fell to their St. Mary’s opponents.
“Score-wise, I don’t think we did as well as last year. However, everyone competed and we supported each other as a team on and off the court. This is only our first tournament of the semester; the heart is definitely there but there is plenty of room for improvement technique wise,” Roa said.
Trinity plays host to the ITA tournament next weekend. Last year, Skinner won the tournament to advance to nationals and then proceeded to win nationals as well.
“After seeing a tournament and all these guys playing competitive matches, now we can do an inventory check. They now have a better scope of what their game needs, so it’ll be a lot of individual attention, a lot of time on court, playing points and trying to execute certain strategies and philosophies that are more individually suited for certain guys just trying to tune up their game. That’s what I love about having this tournament; it is great practice and you can really see what guys are about and how they compete. Now we have a blueprint for what they need to work on; we have a checklist to work through and two weeks to get it done,” McMindes said.