By: K.J./GCU Staff
Determined to prove they were not the same team from a year ago, the Grand Canyon University Co-ed Club Tennis program showcased a strong outing in the Southwest Sectional Championship. The Lopes had three separate teams participating in the weekend tournament: two in the silver flight and one in the gold.
Although the “C” team struggled to find success, both the “A” and “B” teams finished with performances that were unprecedented for the program.
Lopes’ junior Sidney Nocon and sophomore Tyler Pham had an incredible impact, with each going 5-1 in singles play in the gold bracket. The impressive solo performances paved the way for the “A” teams to finish with a 3-3 record and 7th place overall, with wins over from Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona and University of Texas-El Paso.
For the Lopes’ “B” squad, it was a complete team effort that earned them the right to hoist the silver flight trophy. On top of bringing home the hardware, the team maintained a perfect record throughout the entire tournament.
With this being the last major competition of the season that will feature all three groups, Lopes’ Head Coach Ed Prudhomme reflected on the growth he witnessed and the new expectations moving forward.
“This was the first year the A team was able to beat other school’s A teams,” said Prudhomme. “Last year, many of our strong players were only freshmen, and the year seasoning was a huge help. Our program is moving in the right direction.”
Although they will not have the opportunity to participate in nationals, Grand Canyon’s season isn’t over just yet. The “A” is set to compete in a spring invitational this March featuring 32 schools from around the nation. The tournament will take place in Surprise, and if any late openings appear, the “B” team will also compete.