Tennis in conference contention

The semester is coming to a close, as is the regular season for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

With just one match left to play, the women are 5-1 in conference and 10-5 overall. They’ve had 5 shutouts, and two of those came this past weekend with wins over LeTourneau University and Howard Payne University.

Sophomore exercise sport science major Mallory Aarhus said, “I think we’ve been playing well recently because everything seems to have finally clicked. All our work and support of each other is directed toward the same goal.”

The men have also been successful with a conference record of 4-2, and an overall record of 8-5. They defeated Howard Payne last Saturday 6-3 at the Yavonne Li Tennis Center in Belton.

Junior sport management major Alex Graham said, “We have a good shot of making the conference tournament.”

Being prepared and leaving everything on the court has been what the team has been aiming to do all year.

Both teams have come out with a new attitude of winning, but the men have already improved from last year’s overall record of 3-7 and a 3-3 conference record.

Sophomore sport management major Josh Pownall said, “I think the biggest difference from this year and last is that our team, as a whole, believes we can not only compete in the conference, but that we can win in the conference. We now go into matches believing, rather than hoping, that we will win.”

Although the teams have had their share of domination this year, both the men and women have suffered a close 4-5 loss to rival Hardin-Simmons University.

Graham said, “It was a very close match. We felt good coming out of doubles being up 2-1, and winning the next two singles matches,” he said.

“Unfortunately we ended up not getting it done. I feel like we gave it our best shot, and they ended up being the better team that day.”

Since then, the women have bounced back with an important win to secure a spot in the conference tournament. With last weekends conference win, the men should be in the same boat.

Pownall said, “I want to win conference this year for my teammates, and for our coaches. If we don’t, we have had a great monumental season, and we’re only getting better.”

Author: Joseph Warren

Joseph is a senior communication major from Humble, Texas, as well as the assistant sports editor. He took a year off from Cru soccer, but he is back with the team to play his final year. He is a big music lover who is always up for a good, live show.

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