The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s and women’s tennis teams wrapped up their fall season after competing in the American Southwest Conference Individual Tournament Sept. 9-11 and the Intercollegate Tennis Aassociation Southwest Regional Tournament Sept. 24-27.
Both tournaments were on the road with the ASC Individual Tournament being hosted by Hardin-Simmons and McMurry University. The ITA Regional tournaments were hosted by Trinity University (men) and Southwestern University (women).
For the men, the Cru have three returners including: Scott Wilding, Brendan Thompson and Bright Ihezue. The team also has four freshman, who look to help make an impact this season.
Freshman nursing major Julian Dunmore has already learned about the difference of high school versus college tennis.
“In high school, a player could get away with playing a not-up-to-par match and still win because that kid just simply wasn’t good at tennis,” he said. “In college, everybody is recruited to play for these teams, meaning that they are at the very least, solid players. No more easy match wins, 100 percent effort, 100 percent of the time.”
The Cru started the season well, with Wilding and Thompson both making it to the finals of the Flight No.1 and Flight No.2 Singles draws of the ASC Individual Tournament. Wilding fell to Concordia University in a tough three-setter. Sophomore pre-med major Brendan Thompson won a thrilling third set to capture his singles flight title.
“Winning my flight was a big stepping stone for building my confidence. I also think it was good for the team because I was able to show the new freshman how to persevere when losing a close first set and how to win an incredible match,” Thompson said. “I’m excited to see how much growth our team is going to have from match to match as we continue through the season. Because once we all have the lineups set up and everyone is in the daily grind, I think we’re going to show the ASC just how mature and talented our young team is.”
The Lady Cru have five returners and welcomed three freshman to the squad this year. The ladies picked up multiple wins in both of the fall tournaments.
Freshman business major Hope Nash has already enjoyed being a part of the team.
“My teammates are really nice and fun to be around. It’s always good to be surrounded by people who have the same passion for tennis as me,” she said. “Also, I enjoy traveling with the team because that allows us all to bond and make special memories with each other as well as make friendships that will last a lifetime.”
The Cru and Lady Cru will look to return to the ASC postseason this spring. Last season, the men fell in the ASC Championship title match to the University of Texas-Tyler and the women fell in the ASC semifinals match to Hardin-Simmons University.