San Antonio - The seventh-ranked Trinity Tigers men’s tennis team will defend its title by hosting the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27.
The Butch Newman Tennis Center will serve as headquarters for the seven-team dual-match event. Top-seeded Trinity, which received a bye, begins play 8:00 a.m. on April 26 in the semifinals.
Trinity plays the winner of fourth-seeded Schreiner University and No. 5 Austin College, who meet in the quarterfinals on April 25. Second-seeded Texas Lutheran University takes on No. 7 Centenary College, and No. 3 Colorado College plays No. 6 Southwestern University, also on April 25 in the quarterfinals.
The April 27 championship match is slated for 8:00 a.m., with the winner assured of a spot in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. There will also be consolation matches at the SCAC tournament.
The Tigers won the 2013 SCAC Championship with a 9-0 victory over Colorado College, played on Trinity’s courts. It marked the Tigers’ 18th overall conference title, and the fourth under Head Coach Russell McMindes’ leadership. Trinity swept Austin College 9-0 in the semifinals.
Coach McMindes was elected the SCAC Men’s Tennis Coach of the year for the fourth consecutive time. Aaron Skinner, now a junior, was selected as the SCAC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year. Joining Skinner on the All-SCAC Team were senior Greg Haugen, along with juniors Charlie Curtis and Jordan Mayer.
Following the SCAC Championship, the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Playoffs at Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Trinity first took out Ohio Northern University 5-0, and then beat Gustavus Adolphus College 5-2 in the second round. The victory earned the Tigers a trip to the NCAA Championship at Kalamazoo, Michigan. Sixth-ranked Williams College eliminated Trinity in the quarterfinals with a 5-1 win.
Skinner advanced to the singles semifinals of the NCAA individual tournament. Trinity was represented in the semis for the second time in three years.
The 2014 NCAA Championships are slated for May 19-21 (team) and May 22-24 (singles and doubles) at Claremont, California.
Last fall, sophomore Paxton Deuel won the Division III consolation singles title at the USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Small College Championships at Fort Myers, Florida. Junior Brandon Thompson and sophomore Eliot Guin competed in the National Small College Doubles Tournament.
Trinity stands at 20-6 this season, and is on a six-match winning streak. A particularly successful trip occurred in March when the Tigers won four of five matches in Washington and California. Three of those victories were against nationally ranked teams, UC-Santa Cruz, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, and the University of Redlands. The Tigers also beat Whitman University. In February, the Tigers captured third place at the ITA DIII National Team Indoor Championship with a 7-2 win over Case Western Reserve University at Mayfield Village, Ohio.
Records-wise this season, Deuel stands at 15-6 at No. 1 singles. Haugen is 15-8, largely at Nos. 2 and 3 singles. Mayer holds an excellent 18-2 mark, with the majority of matches coming on the No. 5 line. Curtis is 11-2, mainly at No. 6 singles., while Skinner and senior Nico Moreno each has a record of 11-11. First-year player Chas Mayer has posted a mark of 7-2.
Deuel and Moreno have registered a 14-10 record at No. 1 doubles. Haugen and Jordan Mayer, the main No. 2 doubles tandem, stand at 13-6. Curtis and first-year player Clayton Niess, the No. 3 doubles stalwarts, boast a 12-1 record.
Trinity will open play at the three-day tournament on Saturday morning. The Tigers received a first-round bye as the top seed in the event, and will begin play at 8:00 a.m.