The ACU men’s tennis team traveled to Maryville, Missouri this past weekend for the ITA South Central Regional Championships. The women’s team swept their ITA Regional Championships the weekend before, allowing two players, Julia Mongin and Jaclyn Walker, to advance to the national championships. The the pressure was on the men to match that performance.
Freshman Hans Hach entered his first ITA Regional Championship ranked seventh in the singles tournament. Hach came to ACU last year, but was unable to play tennis, making this the first time Coach Jones would witness Hach play under pressure. Jones had high expectations for Hach, and he succeeded those expectations by winning the singles tournament with ease.
Hach did not lose a set in any of his six singles matches. He never lost more than three games in a set and defeated top-ranked Malcolm Harrison of host school Northwest Missouri State in the championship, 6-3, 6-3.
“I knew he had a great chance of winning the regional title,” Coach Jones stated. “He continues to get better and better every match he plays. He has amazing talent, and I expect even more great things from him in the future.”
Hach had a 30-minute rest after winning the singles championship before he teamed up with senior Bryan Joiner to compete in the doubles tournament. The pair entered the tournament ranked first, and proved they deserved it by winning the championship in dramatic fashion.
Hach and Joiner played the second-ranked team of Edward Boone and Mick Walter from St. Edwards in the championship. They came back from a 4-2 deficit in the first set to defeat the St. Edward’s duo 7-6 (12-10). Hach and Joiner then won the second set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (8-6).
“Winning the doubles title was something we’ve worked for since day one,” Joiner stated. “In the finals there were a lot of ups and downs, and we saved more than 10 set points in each set to stay alive. We stayed together and ended up winning the points that mattered.”
Hach and Joiner both earned spots in the national championships with their regional victories. They also matched their Lady Wildcat teammates, Mongin and Walker, stride for stride with the exact same victories the ladies had the weekend before.
When asked about teammate Hans Hach, Joiner said, “This weekend showed a lot of maturity from my doubles partner [Hach]. Being on the court for 10 matches in three days takes a lot out of somebody mentally and physically. Being able to win both titles in his first year amazes me.”
Joiner and Hach are both still excited about their success from last weekend, but are ready to start preparing for next weekend. They will join Mongin and Walker in the National Small College Championships next weekend in Mobile, Alabama.
“It was an awesome feeling to get the regional title my senior year,” Joiner said. “Now we’re focused on next weekend and looking forward to seeing what we can do at the National Tournament.”