Eagles’ shine in ITA Regional Tournament

Biola gets an idea of the upcoming season with players making it to the finals and quarterfinals.

Keaton Moore, Writer

The tennis season has not even begun and already the team has shown incredible potential in their preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Tournament. Both the men and women’s tennis teams found themselves in the final rounds of one of the brackets, although no Biola athlete took home the gold.

SUCCESS ON THE COURT

In women’s open singles senior Kathryn Ashford would make her way through the quarter finals before she lost to Westmont College in a third set tiebreaker. Ashford left the court with a 6-3, 5-7, 10-5 tiebreak.

The women’s doubles also did very well in the tournament as the senior Susan Carmichael and junior Madeline Heer pair it up to the quarter finals. These two finished up their weekend 8-4 and 8-1.

For men’s open singles sophomores Joe Turnquist, David Garcia and Lucas Lee made it to the round of 16, but would not make it any farther in the tournament. Turnquist left the court 7-6(4), 6-2, Garcia was defeated 6-4, 6-3, while Lee was knocked out by junior Travis Kimsey from Westmont College by a score of 6-1, 2-6, 10-5 tiebreaker.

PLAYING TOGETHER AGAIN

Lee went from singles to doubles with his doubles partner junior Luke Mountain. They did the best out of the Eagles in the tournament and made it up to the finals before being knocked out by Arizona Christian’s doubles team. The Firestorm won by a score of 6-3, 6-3.

“Luke and I really played well together and it was a good spot to see where we are at in terms of how we should be playing and getting to play more together always helps team chemistry,” Lee said.

This dynamic duo played together their freshman year and took a break while Lee redshirted the following year. During their first year playing together, they would go on to compete in the Ojai Tournament independent college doubles finals, but lost. Without missing a beat, these two did very well in the ITA Tournament and plan on doing the same in the 2016 season.

“I’d say as soon as we started playing together again we just picked it up,” Mountain said.

A UNIQUE CHANCE

For both the men and women’s teams this tournament was a unique chance for the players to observe their competition and see what kind of athletes they will be taking on this next year. Although the Eagles showed bright spots throughout the tournament, they still have a lot of work to do during the off season.

“There are a lot of tune-ups that are going to happen before the season and up until the season ends we’re going to work on a lot of things, but everyone on the team fights really well and competes really well,” Lee said.

In 2015 the men’s team finished their year 10-14 with a 4-8 conference record and on the road they were 3-4. Likewise the women’s team finished up 4-19 on the year. They went 2-10 in conference and were the same during their home matches. But with Vanguard University cutting their tennis program and Concordia University out of the conference for the first time this year, it will make the dynamics of conference matches very different.

“Our conference is smaller but it makes it more difficult because we have less conference matches so I think we just need to execute the few that we have,” Mountain said.

 

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