Tennis teams put down the racket until next fall

Tennis

On Thursday, the men’s tennis team traveled to Dallas to compete in the Heartland Conference tournament at Southern Methodist University.

The team, ranked No. 3, won 5-4 in the semifinals on Friday against St. Edward’s University, ranked No. 2, and lost 0-5 in the finals on Saturday against St. Mary’s University, ranked No. 1. The team beat St. Edward’s for the first time almost a decade, said Shella Augsburger, director of tennis.

Kevin Clack, a sophomore on the team, said they won two out of three doubles matches against St. Edwards. Clack said Lucas Norbiato and Felipe Batistella won the final match.

“They played an amazing doubles match and ended up winning our second doubles match,” he said. The team needed to win three of the six singles matches to secure its win.”

The score was tied 4-4. Alejandro Gonzalez played a singles match that went to three sets. Gonzalez’s win ended the match 5-4, allowing the team to move to the finals on Saturday against St. Mary’s.

Augspurger said she received many texts and messages from former players who were excited that the team had beat St. Edwards.

“They have done something that no team has ever done at Newman; beating St. Edward’s. Every time you do something [for] the first [time] it is always pretty cool,” she said.

Clack said Gonzalez, despite having a hurt wrist and arm, won his singles match.

“He really pulled through for us when we needed him the most. It was going to be one of his last matches and we couldn’t have been more proud of him,” Clack said.

Augspurger said captains Eduardo Santos and Gonzalez have completed their final season playing on the team.

The team finished the season with an overall record of 10-11. Augspurger said both the women and men’s team had the most challenging schedule that they have ever had.

“We knew it was going to be tough, but they did a great job. We couldn’t be happier for them,” she said.

Augspurger said all of the teams they lost to this season were higher ranked teams. The tough schedule and missing key players to injuries affected the record, she said.

“They really pulled together and they really were focused. They represented Newman well and the athletic department well as far as their behavior on the court. They were very classy athletes,” she said. “Anybody who would have come to watch them would have been proud to say they were from Newman.”

This story first appeared in the April 27th, 2017 issue of The Vantage