The men and women’s tennis teams kicked off their season at the ASC Individual Tournament in Belton, Texas from Sept. 12-14.
The tournament, which consisted of four flights, had individual players representing their universities. Senior Casey Clark of the men’s team represented the Comets in flight 1 and stormed through the rounds to win the flight with three wins. He recorded a 6-3, 6-3 win over LeTourneau’s Kendall Beggs, then narrowly edged out Hardin-Simmons’ Erick Bein, the bracket’s number two seed, 4-6, 6-1, 10-1. In the title match, Clark beat UT Tyler’s Ramon Martinez, the top seed of the bracket, 6-2, 7-5.
In flight 2 singles, freshman Hruday Ravula was granted a bye in the first round but lost to Hardin-Simmons’ Michael McCullough 7-5, 6-0. Ravula then beat Howard Payne’s Eli Ramos 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the consolation final, before withdrawing from the draw.
Freshman Iwata Goh, faced a similar situation in flight 3, as he was awarded a bye in the first round, before he lost to LeTourneau’s Sindre Johnsgaard in three sets 3-6, 7-6, 10-6. Goh ousted Sul Ross State’s Daniel Fraire 6-1, 6-0 and East Texas Baptist’s Weston Godsey, 6-2, 6-1. Goh then withdrew from the consolation finals.
In flight 4, sophomore Sean Spiesman won his opener 6-0, 6-1 against ETBU’s Laramie Linn, before losing to Texas-Tyler’s Chris Wootton 0-6 3-6.
In doubles, the teams of Clark/Ravula and Goh/Spiesman both reached the finals of flight 1 and 2, respectively, before losing in the title match.
The men’s team will now compete in the ITA Southwest Regional in San Antonio from Sept. 27-29.
The women’s team started the new season from right where they left off last season — winning tournaments.
Senior Casey Johnson, the No. 1 seed of flight 1, won her bracket with ease. She won her opening match against Ozarks’ Whitney Lewis with a double bagel (6-0, 6-0), and continued her good form into the second and third match against Hardin Simmons’ Genene Harrad 6-2, 6-1 and UT Tyler’s Amy Friesenhahn 6-3, 6-3, respectively.
In flight 2, top seed sophomore Auvi Tran won her bracket in similar fashion with straight set wins in all three matches. Tran won her opening match 6-0, 6-1 against HSU’s Hannah Smith. She scored a double bagel win over East Texas Baptist’s Kali Kipp and a 6-3 6-1 win over UT Tyler’s Jessica Blundell to win the title.
Senior Mindy Tiu, who was the top seed in flight 3, could not follow her teammates victory run, falling to Texas-Tyler’s Jennifer Payne 6-1, 6-1 in the finals.
Senior Cindy Tiu, who was the top seed in flight 4, won her bracket with three wins. Tiu earned a first-round bye, going on to beat ETBU’s Caitlin Alverson 6-2, 6-0, then HSU’s Jasmine Briant 6-3, 6-1. She faced staunch competition in the finals from UT Tyler’s Tori Musngi coming from a set down to win the match 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.
In flight 5, freshman Kelly Reed received a bye in the first round but failed to make it count, falling to HSU’s Alynna Phouthakhio, 7-5, 6-3. Reed won against Howard-Payne’s Tiffany Bullock, but withdrew from the consolation finals.
Senior Stephanie Lu was the No. 2 seed in flight 6 and started her bracket strong against Ozarks’ LeAnna White, winning the match 6-0, 6-1. However, she retired from her second round match against UHMB’s Laura Garden.
In doubles, Johnson and Tran won the flight 1 bracket. They crushed LeTourneau 8-0 in the opening round, defeated Howard-Payne in the semis and managed to overpower UT Tyler 8-3 in the finals.
The team of sisters Cindy and Mindy Tiu earned a first-round bye and trounced Howard-Payne 8-0 in the quarterfinals. They unfortunately lost to HSU in the semi-finals 5-8.
Lu and Reed were seeded 2 in flight 2 doubles, but lost their opening match 4-8 to HSU.
The Comets will compete at the ITA Southwest Regional in Tyler from Sept. 20-22.