By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
A renewed commitment to doubles training helped the Grand Canyon University Club Tennis team earn a pair of top-8 finishes this weekend in Tucson at the Wildcat Classic—hosted by University of Arizona. The Lopes “A” team tookeighth place in the Gold (highest playoff bracket) Flight, while the “B” team tookthird place in the Silver Flight.
The Lopes were just one of 32 teams in the tournament with over 14 schools represented.
“They are all becoming much better doubles players,” said Prudhomme. “The format we play consists of two singles matches and three doubles matches, so doubles play is very important. We have been spending a lot of time on teaching positioning and tactics for doubles which are very different from singles. As a group, there has been a large improvement.”
The GCU “A” team went 3-3 in the tournament while playing teams such as California Polytechnic State University, Arizona State University and University of Arizona.
“Both of our team captains have made huge jumps in their contributions to the team,” said Prudhomme. “Zach Frampton and Alyssa Heid have anchored our team in doubles and mixed doubles.”
Frampton and Heid have been winning over 70% of their matches. Frampton was the first male GCU player to go undefeated in the Sun Devil Classic.
Prudhomme has been impressed with how the GCU “B” team – who also went 3-3 in the tournament –has competed throughout the year.
“Last year, we were senior dominant,” said Prudhomme. “This year, we are heavily populated with freshmen. Everyone has been getting plenty of experience, and several are showing signs that the program will stay in a competitive state.”
The Lopes now begin preparing for the USTA Southwest Championship Sectionals Tournament Feb. 21.
“We are working on integrating new players into the team,” said Prudhomme. “We also have added additional practice sessions to get prepared to give ourselves a chance at earning one of the two spots left in sectionals. We have had close wins and losses against the few teams that are in the mix for earning one of the two spots.”
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