Pranati Chitta
Mercury Staff

Women's, men's teams to compete in one ASC West match before transitioning to ASC East division

The men’s and women’s tennis teams each have one more match left to play in the American Southwest Conference West competition before advancing to ASC regionals.

“We have the exact same team as last year plus two more freshmen, so we’re a bit stronger than last year,” said UTD tennis coach Bryan Whitt, who coaches both the men’s and women’s teams.

Next year, both teams will be moving to the East division from the West division.

“The transition won’t be that much since we play the East teams (during the season and conference tournament) anyway, and we used to be in the East,” Whitt said.

The men’s tennis team lost 5-4 in a match in the West competition against Concordia University on March 29.

“We believe we can beat them again, so we look forward to playing them again,” said junior Giovanni Zamboni. “I believe that we didn’t prepare in the best way possible (before), such as not enough hydration.”

Zamboni is undefeated in his singles matches this season while he lost four out of 10 of his doubles matches. He is ranked No. 2 on the team.

“We also have a lot of freshmen this year, and they are good players (and), the pressure can get to them, but that helped our experience,” Zamboni said.

The freshmen have also helped his game this season, he said.

“The big thing this year (is) I really stepped up as a kind of leader because the team is kind of young this year,” Zamboni said. “Now, I’m more relaxed, so it helped to be more confident and play better because tennis is how you feel mentally and how it affects your physical game.”

The women’s team lost one match 7-2 during its regular season against Trinity University, a nationally ranked team, on April 6.

“I think they were the toughest team compared to anyone else we’ve played till that point, so we weren’t quite ready for what they brought,” said junior Kathy Joseph.

Joseph is undefeated this season and the only nationally ranked tennis player on the team, ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Division III West Region.

“(The competition) has made me more excited about the potential for going to nationals,” she said. “It gives me something more to look forward to.”