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GCU Club Tennis Takes Bronze title at USTA National Championships

club tennis at USTA invitational
November 16, 2021

Lopes’ Team A claims 1st place in bronze bracket

By: Maria Adams/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff

After spending the 2020-21 year limited to intrasquad practices, Grand Canyon University Club Tennis tasted live competition again. The Lopes did not waste time easing back into play, and they jumped back into the swing of competition with the USTA National Championships where the Lopes’ Team A battled their way to a Bronze Flight championship title.

In pool play, Team A encountered losses to both University of California-Davis and California Polytechnic State University but sandwiched between those decisions was a victory over University of Arizona. That singular win was enough to send the team into the Bronze Flight.

The pool play portion of the tournament was not as productive as the Lopes had hoped for, but Lopes’ Head Coach Ed Prudhomme was eager to just see how GCU fared against other teams.

“We have a very new and young team this year,” said Prudhomme. “This was the first official competition that I got to see how their skills translated in live play. They were starting to execute the technical skills we had been working on.”

Guided by the leadership of Lopes’ senior Alessio Ferro and junior Kosta Garger, two of the few returners to the program, Team A managed to find more success as they moved on to tournament play. GCU powered through three straight wins over Northern Arizona University, San Diego State University, and University of California, Riverside to secure a first-place finish in the Bronze Flight.

“Everyone had great attitudes, great effort, and they worked hard,” said Prudhomme. “Going forward, we need to improve in our doubles play and doubles strategy. A lot of our athletes are geared more towards singles play, but three out of the five games in the match are doubles.”

In addition to Team A, the Lopes had two more teams in the tournament representing GCU. Lopes’ Team B also landed in the Bronze Flight but did not place, and Lopes’ Team C ended their journey early with two losses in the Copper Flight.

“80 percent of our players are new, and most of them are freshmen,” said Prudhomme. “It will take some time and work to get everything our team is about instilled in them, but I really like the direction we are headed.”

Interested in learning more about GCU Club Tennis? Visit the clubs team page here!