By Chandler Harris, Assistant Sports Editor
After an impressive season, the men’s and women’s tennis teams have begun their quest for a successful postseason. Both teams were vying for conference championships, and both teams got them.
The women were nothing short of dominant in their defense as reigning LSC champions. Not allowing a single point in three matches, the Wildcats swept away competition one after the other.
After sweeping the first two rounds of the tournament, the women competed against Tarleton State University. It was all Wildcats from the start, as the women took all three doubles matches, taking a 3-0 lead into singles play. In singles play, ACU continued its dominance, and after winning the first two singles matches and the No. 3 and No. 5 matches, the match was called after it became clear that the TexAnns had no shot at a comeback. With the win, the women claimed their second straight LSC title.
While the women were busy defending their title, the men were looking to reclaim the LSC title for the second time in three years. In order to do so, they had to beat the only team in the region that defeated them during the regular season. It was the finals match many predicted with ACU taking on Cameron.
The men came out on fire, taking two of three doubles matches, a reverse from the earlier meeting when they went into singles down 1-2. With the lead heading into singles, the Wildcats were looking to encounter the same fortune in the final six matches of the day. After losing the No. 1 singles match, ACU fought back to win the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 matches to put the Aggies away and take the conference title 5-3.
“I don’t think we played up to our capability last time, but we came out today and took care of business,” said Hutton Jones, head tennis coach.
On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that both the men’s and women’s tennis teams would host the Division II South Central Region tournament next week, May 7-9. The women were awarded the No. 1 seed and will play Washburn at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday; Incarnate Word and Tarleton State will play at 12:30 p.m. in the other semifinals match. The championship match is Friday at 10 a.m.
The men were also awarded the No. 1 seed and will be joined by Washburn and Southwest Baptist in the three-team regional tournament. ACU will play in the championship match next Friday at noon against the winner of the Washburn and Southwest Baptist match, which will be played Thursday at 10 a.m.
Both the men and women are looking to repeat as South Central champions in this year’s regional final. Last year, the women defeated Northeastern State 5-0 to advance to the national tournament, and the men defeated Incarnate Word 5-3 to advance.
“As a coach, you just hope that [the players] feel a hunger to compete better than they did last week every week,” Jones said. “It’s time to get hungry again.”