By Joel Weckerly, Sports Writer
The ACU men’s and women’s tennis teams will play host to the NCAA Division II Central Region tournaments Friday and Saturday on the Eager Tennis Center courts.
The men’s team is coming off of a solid win last week over Cameron en route to capturing its second straight Lone Star Conference championship.
“We’re all pumped about this weekend,” said Trent Broach, junior No. 2 singles and doubles player. “We know we’re the best team there, but there will be teams who can upset us. If we go out ready to play, we should win.”
The Lady Wildcats will attempt to bounce back after a disappointing 5-4 loss in the finals of the LSC tournament to Northeastern State.
Again the Lady Wildcats will be the top seed and will be favored to win in the regional tournament against St. Edwards, Midwestern State and Tarleton State. ACU is 5-0 against these three teams this season.
“We should be able to dominate, but we’re still concentrating hard on every match,” said senior Sarah Taweel, a No. 2 singles No. 1 doubles player with senior teammate Kristen Chumley. “We won last year, and we want to get to nationals again.”
The men are also the top seed in their regional. Other teams participating in the tournament are Cameron, Rockhurst (Mo) and Mid-western State, a rival that Broach said ACU is competitive with.
“We’re all competitive players and our flair will be coming out in those matches,” he said. “This won’t be just a nice, friendly game-in doubles, I’m gonna be looking for some pegs.”
The women’s team is hoping to repeat on last year’s success that led them to the national tournament. The Lady Wildcats have reached the national tournament every year since 1996.
The men are trying to get back to the national tournament after being defeated last year by Incarnate Word in the regional finals. The men’s team last made it to nationals in 2001 and has never advanced past the second round of the tournament.
If either team wins, it advances to the Division II Championships in Orlando May 7-11.
Six ACU players were named to the LSC all-conference first team.
Four women, seniors Lacy Johnson, Chumley and Taweel and freshman Colleen Reynolds were named first team. Johnson and Taweel made it in singles and Johnson, Chumley, Taweel and Reynolds all made it in doubles.
Senior Julien Curatella and Broach were named first team all-conference for the men.