By David Carter/GCU Staff
“Both teams were put into tough brackets, and we had extreme inclement weather with 30 to 40 mile-per-hour wind.”
Those words from GCU Club Tennis Head Coach Ed Prudhomme illustrated this past weekend for both the GCU Club Tennis “A” and “B” teams as the “A” team placed sixth and the “B” team placed ninth at the 2019 United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis on Campus (TOC) Southwest Sectionals.
This event, otherwise known as sectionals, determined which two teams from the USTA Southwest Region make it to the USTA TOC National Championships in Surprise next month. Those spots were filled by tournament champion University of New Mexico (UNM) “A” team and runner-up Arizona State University (ASU)’s “A” team.
GCU A Team Results
“Just like the last two tournaments we have played in, except sectionals, GCU “A” and ASU “A” were in the semifinals of the main draw, and the schools from the southwest do not always make it that far,” said Prudhomme. “It would have been nice to earn a trip to nationals, but I am still happy with the progress (our) program is making.”
GCU “A” faced ASU “A” in bracket play- a challenging matchup for the Lopes considering they have lost to ASU “A” in elimination round matches in two tournaments earlier this season.
GCU “A” lost to ASU “A”, 30-10, which put the GCU “A” team into the silver flight. Once there, the Lopes lost to the ASU “B” team, 22-20, sealing their 6th-place finish.
GCU B Team Results
There was nothing ‘B’ about the Lopes’ “B” team’s pool play bracket, since they were forced to play more opponents’ “A” teams than GCU’s top team, including eventual tournament champions, the UNM “A” team.
“They had a rough draw,” said Prudhomme. “They faced two ‘A’ teams, and only won one of their pool play matches. That was nice for them, though, because they won their last match of pool play, won the bronze bracket and finished with three wins in a row.”
The GCU “B” Team lost to the eventual tournament champions, the UNM ‘A’ team, before rebounding to win their last match of bracket play against the University of Arizona (U of A) “C” team, 23-18. In the bronze flight, they defeated both the U of A “D” team and the UNM “B” team to win the bracket and finish 9th.
“Some of the players learned a lot of fight and competition skills this weekend,” said Prudhomme. “A lot of them showed good heart and fight which will help us in the long run.”
This may be the last tournament for the Lopes of the 2018-2019 season. The Lopes are still looking for other possible tournaments later in the semester.
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