By: KJ Wylie/GCU Staff
The bigger the team, the more plentiful the accomplishments.
Last weekend in the Devils Classic Tournament, the Grand Canyon University Co-ed Club Tennis program had the most participating teams in the event. Every team involved competed well in their respective divisions, but it was the silver team who led the way and brought home the silver flight trophy.
Led by Lopes freshman Donta De Simone and Lucia Lopez Manzono, the early success for the Lopes seems to be a sign of things to come. The source of it all came from an interesting team mantra.
“We have this thing on our team called PPR, which is ‘positive physical response,'” said De Simone. “We only missed placing in the gold bracket by one point, but instead of getting down on ourselves, we placed first in the silver bracket and won it all.”
As for Manzono, she expressed her exhilaration for not only winning her first tournament, but doing so by playing in an unfamiliar position.
“This was my first time playing college tennis,” said Manzono. “I volunteered to play singles for the tournament which isn’t my best, but my teammates were extremely supportive. I ended up doing well, and helped win the whole thing.”
Does bringing home a trophy become the new bar set for the team every tournament?
“We have to always do better than the last time,” said Manzono. “Even if this was the best we’ve played, we’re going to keep getting better. Now that we know how other schools are, we know what to expect.”
With the program sending four full teams to compete, Lopes’ Head Coach Ed Prudhomme expressed how proud he was to see the team continuing to grow.
“In the first three years, we could only send one or two teams with four players,” said Prudhomme. “Now that we’re in a position where we are one of the bigger schools in Arizona, it’s up to me to find the right mesh of players for doubles and singles so we can kept finding success.”
In years past, the team was fortunate to stay competitive in the bronze bracket of tournament play. Now the Lopes are in a position where four teams are able to compete across all brackets. As the fall season remains underway for the program, the team will look to sharpen their skills in time for nationals in January.