By David Carter/GCU Staff
One win away.
That’s what GCU Club Tennis needs to add another milestone to the program’s history, and make it to the gold (highest playoff bracket) flight finals of a tournament after its “A” team earned a 4th-place finish at the Wildcat Classic – hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The Lopes’ B-team finished 2nd in the bronze (third highest playoff bracket out of four) flight, losing to the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) B-team.
“This is the second tournament in a row in which we and Arizona State University (ASU) are the last two top teams from the southwest,” said GCU Club Tennis Head Coach Ed Prudhomme. “Hopefully that trend continues when we go to sectionals and are the two best schools.”
The GCU A-team made it to the gold bracket semifinals, but lost to the ASU A-team, 29-8.
Despite the loss, Lopes’ player Sabrina Boever remains optimistic that GCU can still present a challenge.
“ASU A is definitely a tough team,” said Boever. “They have some really good players, but if we are playing our best, we can definitely give them a run for their money.”
Even though the GCU A-team lost their final two matches, there was a special moment that stood out for the Lopes – courtesy of GCU player Zach Frampton.
“The win over Stanford (in the gold bracket quarterfinals) was probably one of my biggest wins in GCU Club Tennis,” said Frampton. “We came back from an eight-game deficit. We had to win eight games in a row – as well as a tiebreaker on top of it.”
The 25-24 victory over the Stanford University A-team proved to be vital for the Lopes as it guaranteed them a top-4 tournament finish.
Even though the GCU B-team competed in the bronze flight at the Wildcat Classic, Prudhomme has been impressed with how they have competed throughout the year.
“They have been solid bronze flight contenders, and they have even made it into the gold flight this year,” said Prudhomme. “It is a little bit down for them to make it to the bronze, but there was a lot of good competition down there.”
Being ‘one win away’ matters the most to GCU Club Tennis as they head to Las Cruces, New Mexico to play in the USTA Southwest Championship Sectionals Tournament February 15 to 17.
If the Lopes reach and win a gold bracket semifinals match at sectionals, they will qualify for nationals for the first time ever. It would also give them a bit of a ‘homecourt advantage’, since the 2019 USTA Tennis on Campus National Championships will be played in Surprise.
An achievement such as reaching nationals will not only ‘add another milestone to the program’s history,’ but it also raises and sets the standard for what it means to be a GCU Club Tennis player.
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