Fall Tournament Results Has Team Eyeing Spring Nationals
By David Carter/GCU Staff
“I think we definitely have a good shot this year at making it.”
Yes, a confident statement like that isn’t unique from someone like GCU Club Tennis Women’s Team Captain Leah Helman about the squad’s prospects for the national tournament. Judging from the team’s performances in their two major tournaments of the fall, though, one can understand her extra zeal.
At the Lumberjack Open hosted by Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in October, GCU’s A-team took 2nd in the silver flight, and their B-team took 3rd in the silver flight.
Their most impressive showing came a month later at the Devil’s Classic-hosted by Arizona State University. Both the Lopes’ A-team and B-team made the gold flight. The A-team finished fourth in the gold flight and overall, while the C-team made it into the silver flight for the 1st time and won the consolation bracket.
“This is the strongest performance we have ever had in any tournament,” said GCU Club Tennis Head Coach Ed Prudhomme. “We never have had two teams into the gold flight after the pool play. It was a great weekend. We had our B-team make the gold flight for the first time.”
“This gives us good hope for the tournaments to come to qualify for nationals,” said Helman. “The girls have always been our strong link for the team. I think it was even better for us this time because we just had three solid girls and we were able to work with it.”
The men’s side also got a good dose of what to be ready for when the spring season commences.
“You get a whole different look on all kinds of play,” said Lopes’ Men’s Tennis Team Captain Zach Frampton. “They have their own strengths and weaknesses, and adjusting to those will better us as a team-not only physically but mentally for those big matches coming up.”
The mental aspect will be crucial-especially now that the new players have had a tournament or two to get used to the unique atmosphere.
“Club tennis is fun, raucous, and crazy,” said Prudhomme. “You have 12 people sitting between your courts and people from other teams to cheer on their teams. You must be able to control your nerves. I had a lot of players get that experience and they still performed well.”
The Lopes will commence their spring season in the University of Arizona-hosted Wildcat Classic January 19 in Tucson.
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