Coming out of tournaments in Oklahoma and Colorado, the men’s and women’s tennis teams are ready for another weekend of competition as they part ways to compete at two different tournaments. The men’s team will be traveling to Albuquerque to the University of New Mexico while the women’s team will be making their way to Dallas to the SMU Invitational.
Four weeks into this fall season, the players and coaching staff are optimistic and hopeful for the team’s performance throughout the year. In light of the victories several Wildcats have seen so far, Assistant Coach John Walker said that the player’s attitudes and sportsmanship are equally as important as the outcome of any match.
“We are winning the matches we should win for the most part,” Walker said. “We aren’t winning all of our matches, but the way in which we are losing is extra special. “We as coaches believe and teach our players that losing in a way that is ultimately pleasing to God will pay off greatly and produce wins in the future.”
Coach Walker said that the fall tournaments are great training and teaching opportunities to prepare the players physically and mentally for spring tennis and the more important team matches. Walker spoke highly of this year’s team, and he and the rest of the coaching staff have taken note of the wide distribution of talent across the board on both the men’s and women’s rosters, especially when it comes to newcomers.
“Both our men’s and women’s team have talented, disciplined, hard-working veterans, and the younger men and women are learning the system at an amazing rate,” Walker said. “The future of ACU tennis looks bright.”
Sophomore Autumn Crossnoe, a transfer from Texas Tech, has had a great kick to start off the season and her athletic career as a Wildcat. Following the examples of successful upperclassmen, she won her singles flight at the Air Force Invitational and is looking to improve upon her game and seek success on the court at Southern Methodist.
“Altogether I would say that the team is ready to be back competing this weekend. We have another chance to get tough match play in before our season starts up in the spring,” Crossnoe said. “SMU is a very strong team and will be tough competition.”
Air Force was the first tournament that all eight girls competed in together as a complete team, and Crossnoe said that the experience was incredibly rewarding to compete well as a group and to get the chance to represent ACU on the court in the midst of other Div. 1 universities.
“I’m proud to play for a team that works hard to achieve the goals we set, while striving to be excellent for Christ,” Crossnoe said. “Everyone has been giving tremendous effort in the weight room, during conditioning, and on the court… It’s starting to yield results!”
The dedicated work ethic is true of both the men’s and women’s sides of the tennis program. Some of the male players had the opportunity to compete at the ITA Men’s All-American Championships against some of the best of the best, and they, along with the rest of the men’s team, prepare to compete this weekend at the University of New Mexico.
The Wildcats view this weekend’s competition as a great opportunity to execute what they’ve worked on in practice and to get some more experience under their belts. With only a couple of tournaments left on the fall slate, the team and its coaches continue to better themselves and utilize every opportunity to grow and improve.
“After watching the men and women compete in this short fall season, I believe there is a great reward coming in the near future for our ACU tennis program,” Walker said. “I look for great things to happen this year.”
The men will travel to compete in Albuquerque while the women compete in Dallas on Oct. 7–9.