Lopes ‘B’ team places first in silver bracket for second consecutive tournament
By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
After a historic start to the season that saw the Grand Canyon University Club Tennis team earn its first-ever No. 1 seed in the Gold Flight of a tournament last month, GCU’s ‘A’ team took fifth in the Gold Flight this weekend at the Sun Devil Classic – hosted by Arizona State University in Tempe. The Lopes rallied for the fifth-place finish after dropping the first match against the San Diego State University ‘A’ team.
“After looking at the results of the last tournament, we were able to switch things up,” said Head Coach Ed Prudhomme. “We were able to piece who works better together and have our lineup more in order.”
Going into mixed doubles Sunday, the Lopes were up by one game. After SDSU equalized out with the tiebreaker, the Lopes lost 7-6 in the final match.
“It was a great match,” said Prudhomme. “Every single match was competitive and the level of play was exciting. It’s a bummer we lost, but overall, it was exciting.”
The Lopes ‘A’ team went undefeated in pool play against teams such as Arizona State University (28-17), University of New Mexico (23-21) and Northern Arizona University (26-19).
The Lopes’ Zach Frampton went 6-0 for singles, making Frampton the first male player to go undefeated in a tournament for the ‘A’ team.
“They are all tough competitors,” said Prudhomme. “We have a few scrimmages before our next tournament to work on our weaknesses in able to strengthen their positions on the team.”
Last year at the Sun Devil Classic, the ‘A’ team finished fourth in the gold flight and overall, while the ‘C’ team made it into the silver flight for the first time and won the consolation bracket.
The Lopes’ most impressive performance came from the ‘B’ team placing first for a second consecutive tournament in the silver bracket. After taking second in their pool, the ‘B’ team won all three matches that gave them their first place finish.
Both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams went 5-1 in their pool.
“This is the first time the ‘B’ team ever won two tournaments in one year, let alone back-to-back,” said Prudhomme.
The ‘C’ team finished sixth in the silver flight and overall, taking second in their pool.
“There is a distinct skill level difference,” said Prudhomme. “We had over half of our team qualify, which rarely ever happens for our team. We are working on getting everybody to be better with their double positioning and double strategy.”
The Lopes’ next match will be in Tucson for the Wildcat Winter Classic on Jan. 18.
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