The Trinity Tigers women’s tennis team wrapped up its regular-season home campaign with victories over the University of Texas-Dallas Comets and the Colorado College Tigers on Saturday, April 19. The team recorded three straight victories and racked up five shutout matches during their season.
Prior to the Tigers’ big win, the team had split a pair of Saturday afternoon matches a week earlier, defeating Texas Lutheran University 7-2 after being edged 5-4 by the University of Texas-Tyler.
“It feels really good to end the regular season with three straight wins. Especially having our last home matching being a full senior 9-0 sweep, it really set the tone for how we want to perform at the tournament. It also shows us how far we have come and the potential we still have,” said senior Stephanie Williamson.
UT-Tyler took the opening point of Trinity’s first match of the day, but that did not deter the Tigers from firing back with a 2-1 lead after doubles. Senior Kylie Hornbeck and Williamson put Trinity in front with a narrow 9-8 (7-5) win from line two. The Patriots proceeded to tie the match with a win at No. 3 singles, but Hornbeck restored the Tigers back to the lead with her 6-1, 5-7, and 6-0 wins from the top line in singles. UT-Tyler took the next two singles matches, though, pulling ahead 4-3. Senior Lavinia Bendandi held on for 7-5, 4-6, and 7-5 wins at line four singles to tie the match, but UT-Tyler was able to win the final match on the court to take the win.
Despite the loss, Trinity rebounded quickly for their match against Texas Lutheran, taking each of the three doubles points. Senior Kathleen Lundquist and sophomore Kristy Hamilton won 9-8 from the top line, marking their second doubles victory of the day.
With Trinity leading 5-0, senior Michelle Gun-Munro and sophomore Caroline White secured the match with their wins during the No. 5 and No. 2 singles. Texas Lutheran scored the next two points, but the Tigers finished the match against the Bulldogs with wins from first years Elena Wilson and Kaitlyn Thompson to end the day’s action.
“This will definitely go down as one of my most memorable matches. It is so impressive that our senior class has remained so strong over the course of four years,” Hornbeck said.
On April 19, Trinity beat UT-Dallas 6-3 and then shut out Colorado College 9-0 in matches played. The match with Colorado College was special because it marked the first time in Trinity history that an all-seniors lineup played the entire match. A total of six seniors competed for the last time in front of the home crowd during the regular season.
“As a senior, finishing the season was bittersweet. Nevertheless, I am proud of my team and did not expect anything less from our results. Thanks to our preparation and training, we have always been confident about winning conference, and of course the last three wins are just another example of what we are going to be able to achieve during this next tournament,” Bendandi said.
During their match against Colorado College, Lundquist and Bendandi won No. 1 doubles, while Hornbeck and Williamson took the No. 2 match, and Gun-Munro and senior Laura Roa won the No. 3 line.
Hornbeck dominated No. 1 singles, and Bendandi won the No. 2 line. Williamson was a winner during the No. 3 singles, Lundquist captured the No. 4 match, Gun-Munro took No. 5, and Roa claimed No. 6 singles.
With Trinity entering into a UT-Tyler match with just a 2-1 lead, Hornbeck and Williamson won No. 2 doubles 9-8, while White and Gabrielle Roe took the No. 3 line 8-4. Lundquist and Hamilton lost 1-8 at No. 1 doubles.
Trinity came back to a 5-1 lead in singles. White gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead after winning No. 3 singles, and Williamson increased the lead with a 7-6 and 7-5 victory on the No. 6 line. Roe clinched the dual match after capturing No. 4 singles 7-6 and 6-3. Hornbeck fell 6-2, 1-6, 6-7 at No. 1 singles, but Bendandi defeated her opponent 7-5 and 7-6 in the No. 5 match.
“Our main goal this weekend is to win. As a team, our technical goal, which our coach has been emphasizing a lot during practice, is eliminating unforced errors, especially in point starters. Also, as a team, our goal is to support one another whether we are on or off the court,” Roa said.
The Tigers will defend their conference champion title when they host the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship April 25-27, where they are likely to be the top seed.