The ACU Women’s tennis team competed in the ITA South Central Regional tennis tournament this past weekend.
Before the tournament, coach Hutton Jones said, “I want to dominate as a team. I’d rather have six girls make it to the quarterfinals and not have one win the championship than have only one girl make it to the quarterfinals and end up winning the championship. I want to show how good we are as a team, not just individually.”
In the tournament the Lady Wildcats showed their dominance as a team, just as coach Jones had hoped. In the singles bracket (which started with 64 players), ACU had five players in the quarterfinals and three in the semifinals.
Freshman Micah Hermsdorf almost took the fourth spot in the semifinals. She lost her quarterfinals match in dramatic fashion 5-7, 6-3, 10-6. Had she won, it would have been the first time in the history of the ITA South Central Regional Tennis Tournament that one school claimed all four spots in the semifinals.
Sophomore Julia Mongin and senior Jaclyn Walker won the two semifinal matches, guaranteeing an ACU player would win the singles championship.
“It was such a great feeling to know that even before the championship match began, we were going to have a player advance to the national championships for sure,” Jones said.
Both Mongin and Walker had defeated all of their opponents on the road to the championship in just two sets. Mongin defeated Amanda Moberg (the player who beat Hermsdorf) 6-1, 6-2 in her semifinal match, while Walker beat her sophomore teammate Hannah Kelley in her match 6-4, 6-3.
Mongin proved herself worthy of her first place pre-tournament ranking by defeating Walker in the championship 6-3, 6-3.Â Once again, the win only required two sets.
This gave Mongin a spot at the national championships in Mobile, Ala. which take place Oct. 14-17.
“It felt great winning the regional championship, and Jaclyn [Walker] was so supportive of me the whole time, even when we were playing against each other,” Mongin said.
Walker was able to earn a spot of her own in the national championships, even with her singles championship loss to Mongin.
The two of them teamed up in the doubles bracket and breezed their way through it, beating the second ranked team in just two sets, 6-2, 6-3, to win the championship.
“Our girls played great this weekend,” Coach Jones said. “We have two of them (Mongin and Walker) now preparing to go to the national championships in a few weeks, and we are hoping to add some men to that trip as well, as they play their regional tournament in Missouri next weekend.”