This weekend the men and women’s tennis teams will compete at the USTA/ITA South Central Regional championship tournament in Springfield, Missouri. Both of last years defending singles and doubles champions from ACU will be returning in this year’s tournament, and Hans Hach and Julia Mongin have every intention of defending their titles.
The 2010 tournament not only marked Hans Hach’s first ITA appearance, but also his regional win. The red shirt freshman from Cuiacan, Mexico had no problem climbing to the top, easily upsetting No. 1 seed Malcolm Harrison of Northwest 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match. Hach didn’t lose a set in six singles matches, and never lost more than three games in any set.
Hach looks forward to this year’s tournament, hoping to repeat the same results he attained last year. “It was my first time to play, and it was a great experience,” Hach said. “I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself after last year, and I really want it. I feel very confident going into it, and know that I can do it again.
Last year Hach and his doubles teammate Bryan Joiner also proceeded to the finals to beat Edward Boone and Mick Walter of St. Edwards 7-6 (12-10), 7-6 (8-6). They came back from their opponents’ 4-2 lead forcing a tiebreaker in which they clenched the championship title.
Hach believes that he and his new doubles partner Nick Plum are capable of winning doubles this year as well. “It’s a really hard tournament with a lot of matches, but I feel good about playing with Nick,” Hach said. We’ve been competing against a lot of DI schools, and it has really prepared us.”
Two weeks ago, Hach and Plum beat not only beat a doubles pair from the University of Texas, but also a team from Boise State. They made it all the way to the quarterfinals where they lost to a team from Tulsa.
The women’s team also has a history of success in the ITA regionals. Julia Mongin entered last year’s women’s singles tournament as the No. 2 seed behind her doubles teammate, Jaclyn Walker. The duo made easily made their way to the final match, beating Midwestern State’s Julia Puckhaber and Amanda Moberg in a 6-2, 6-3 battle to capture the regional championship title. This victory over the Mustangs was the ninth time in fourteen years that a Wildcat pair has won the doubles championship at the ITA regional tournament.
Mongin then surprised everyone with a 6-3, 6-3 upset over her senior teammate Walker in order to capture the third ITA singles title in Hutton Jones’s fourteen years as the head coach.
After Julia’s impressive appearance in Indiana’s Hoosier Classic last weekend against all Division I athletes, it would not be surprising to see her win the entire regional tournament again this year.
“I just try to play hard and to remain competitive,” Mongin said. “If I stay positive about the game, I expect to play well. I would love to win again this year.”
The USTA/ITA South Central Regional championship tournament will begin Thursday morning in Springfield, Missouri, and proceed until the championship rounds on Sunday.