By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
ACU sophomore Colleen Reynolds won the consolation championship Saturday morning at the ITA Small College National Champion-ships, played at the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi.
Reynolds, who lost her first match Thursday, rallied to win both of her matches in the consolation bracket. Rey-nolds dropped her first-round match on Thursday morning, falling 6-4, 6-0 to Cornelia Grunes of Barry (Fla.).
She bounced back Friday morning by rallying her way into the consolation semifinals. The sophomore dropped the first set but stayed alive in the tournament by dropping only five games in the last two sets to defeat Jen Ikeda of Northern Colorado, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the consolation semifinals.
Following Reynolds’ big come-from-behind win, the ITA Central Region Champion went on to win the consolation singles title in straight sets with a 6-2, 7-5 over Jessie Bungo, 6-2, 7-5.
“Colleen played great this weekend, she deserved to win the consolation championship,” said Casper Steenkamp, the ACU men’s representative at the ITA Small College National Championships.
On the men’s side, Steenkamp lost each of his first two matches and was eliminated from the tournament Friday morning in the consolation semifinals.
Steenkamp got off to a bad start Thursday with a straight set loss of 6-2, 6-1 to Richard Stempnowski of Florida-Gulf Coast. He then lost his consolation semifinal match against Peter Veselovsky of Dowling College, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 eliminating Steenkamp from the tournament.
“I had a pretty bad weekend,” Steenkamp said. “I was disappointed because I didn’t play very well at all. I faced some tough players, but I hoped to do a lot better.”
Both Reynolds and Steenkamp earned their way into the national tournament by winning the ITA Central Region championships earlier in the fall.
The two sophomores will lead the Wildcats to Tyler this weekend as both the men and women will compete in the Tyler Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The tournament will complete the fall season for the ACU, which will not compete again until team tennis makes its return in the spring.