By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
ACU is competing this weekend in Springfield, Mo., at the men’s Omni Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) regional championships. The tournament, in which the women participated last week in Abilene, determines which eight singles players and eight doubles teams will get a bid to the national championships in late October.
Coach Hutton Jones said the regional tournament serves as a stepping stone for team tennis in the spring.
“This tournament establishes two things: regional rankings for the spring and All-American status for individual players,” Jones said.
Jones said it is important for players to establish themselves at the regional tournaments.
“It is important to establish All-American status,” Jones said. “The fall season has a lot of impact on the spring season as far as rankings go, so we hope to do well at regionals.”
ACU newcomers sophomore Casper Steenkamp, freshman George Carstens and freshman Kevin Beedy are all coming off of wins in the the singles flights of the ACU Wal-mart Open. Senior Trent Broach and sophomore Evan Puglia won the flight one doubles of the Wal-mart Open, as well.
Puglia stresses the importance of the ITA regional championships.
“We have been working really hard knowing that this tournament is the biggest of the fall,” Puglia said. “We just have to do our best and hopefully send someone to nationals.”
Tournament play begins Friday at 8 a.m. and championship play will conclude on Sunday.