The Wildcat Tennis team sent four players to the ITA Small College National Championships this past weekend. Sophomores Hans Hach and Julia Mongin competed in the men and women’s singles tournaments, then teamed up with Bryan Joiner and Jaclyn Walker, respectively, for the doubles tournaments.
Hach placed fifth in his singles tournament while Mongin placed third in hers. Hach lost his first round match, but was able to bounce back by winning his next matches with ease. Mongin made it to the semifinal match before getting beat by the number-one ranked player, Yuan Jia of BYU-Hawaii.
Both Hach and Mongin were able to win their last matches, ending the tournament on a good note. Hach beat Andy Blair from Drury University on Saturday 6-1, 6-2, sealing his fifth-place finish. Later that day, Mongin beat Jutta Bornefeld of California, Pa. for third place 6-2, 7-5.
“I thought Hans [Hach] and Julia [Mongin] both played very well in their singles tournaments,” said Coach Hutton Jones. “Hans had a tough match to start his tournament, but was able to play very well after that first loss. And Julia beat two very talented players and lost to the best player in the nation, so I was very proud of both her and Hans’ performances.”
Hach and Joiner, as well as Walker and Mongin, went into their doubles tournaments ready to show that they could compete with the best duos in the nation, and by the end of the tournament they had done so. Each of the Wildcat duos finished third.
Hach and Joiner won their first match with ease, defeating Josh Raymond and Yeswanth Nadella of Nebraska-Kearney 6-1, 6-1. They then had to play the number-one ranked team of Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja from Armstrong Atlantic and lost a tough match 6-2, 7-5. Hach and Joiner did not let that loss bother them, however, and took care of business in the third-place match by defeating the Concordia team of Andrey Baldarev and Daniele Piludu, 7-5, 6-2.
Walker and Mongin had a similar journey in their doubles tournament, as they were also able to win their first match with relative ease, 6-2, 6-4, over the California, Pa. pair,Â Bornefeld and Franziska. They then lost to the team of Alida Muller-Wehlau and Barbora Krtickova from Armstrong Atlantic, Ga. in the semifinals but bounced back with a well-earned win against the Barry, Fla. duo, Barbi Pocza and Angie Werschel, 2-6, 6-3, 10-4, in the third-place match.
“It was a great achievement to place third at the national tournament,” said senior Bryan Joiner. “The individual national tournaments sets the tone for the spring season, so having four teammates there set a high standard for our team to live up to. It was an exciting week to be a part of, and now we’re looking to see what the spring season has in store for us.”