This weekend, the Colorado College men’s and women’s tennis teams participated in the SCAC Championships in Kerrville, TX. Both teams finished third in their tournaments.
The third-seeded women’s team (12-8) began the tournament by stomping Austin College 5-0 last Friday. Duo sophomore Fiona Cerf and first-year Kendal McGinnis, won their sixth straight match at the top spot. The Tigers handily won all three doubles matches. No. 2 doubles partners first-years Annie Zlevor and Simone Hall remained 8-0 on the season. After first years Madison Doerre and McGinnis dispatched the Roo’s in No. 2 and No. 4 singles, the Tigers clinched the match 5-0.
The Friday win advanced the women to the semi-finals on Saturday where they lost 5-3 to the second-seeded Southwestern University in a very heated match.
“Conference was a total upset for the girls,” said McGinnis, who had high ambitions for the team in the tournament. “Playing Soutwestern University is the worst. No. 1 Fiona Cerf whipped their No. 1, but then their No. 1 withdrew injured. Southwestern is also stacked in doubles so they put their best players at 2, which screwed us.”
CC’s Cerf and McGinnis were able to secure the No. 1 doubles position, but the Tigers fell to Southwestern in the No. 2 and No. 3 matches. In singles play, Cerf won the No. 1 spot after Taite Drews-Jones of Southwestern retired due to an injury. Sophomore Natalia Dellavalle was able to win the No. 3 position, but the Pirates took 2, 4, and 5 to end the match.
On Sunday the Tigers defeated Schreiner University 5-0 to take third place in the tournament.
“This was one of the most successful teams we have had in recent history. We won the matches we were supposed to and surprised in some of the matches we were underdogs. It is a very positive sign with such a young group,” said Head Coach Anthony Weber.
The women’s tennis team suffered a tough tournament loss to Southwestern but already have their sights set on next season. “We’re really excited to have another chance at Southwestern, because we’re not losing any seniors this year we can really only get better from here. That’s a pretty great feeling. Feeling really good about next year,” said Cerf.
The men’s team (7-15) had a solid performance in the SCAC tournament finishing third as a fifth seed. The Tigers defeated fourth-seeded Austin College in a grueling seven-hour match. “This was one of the most intense matches I’ve ever seen,” said Weber.
The victory snapped an 11-match losing streak for CC. In the doubles matches the Tigers came out ahead with junior Jason Gutierrez and first-year Daniel Holland winning at the No. 1 position, and junior Jack Benham and first-year Christian Kitchen winning at No. 3. Ahead 2-1, the Tigers needed to secure three of the six singles matches to defeat Austin College. Gutierrez and senior Taylor Delehanty both had key victories at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, but the Roo’s took Nos. 2, 4, and 5. The pressure fell on senior Casey Shaw to clinch the match for CC. After losing the first set 7-5, he released the animal inside to win the last two sets 6-0, 6-2.
On Saturday the Tigers had a tough matchup against No. 1 ranked tennis powerhouse Trinity University. CC fell 5-0 to the eventual tournament champions. Luck returned for the Tigers on Sunday with a win over third-seeded Schreiner in their second upset of the weekend. Crucial victories came from seniors in the last matches of their CC careers. Delehanty and sophomore Brian Chen secured the No. 2 doubles match, which was the only doubles win for the Tigers. CC entered singles play down 2-1 to Schreiner. Seniors Delehanty and Shaw both won their matches at Nos. 3 and 6. Holland and Chen also won Nos. 2 and 4 to win the match for third place in the tournament.
“Conference was awesome,” said Shaw. “At the beginning of the season one of our goals was to finish in the top half of conference. We went into the tournament seeded five with a few tough matches ahead. But everyone fought hard and played the best tennis of the season at the right time.”