ATHENS, Ga. - The Lipscomb men’s tennis team hit the courts for the first time this fall over the weekend as they participated in the Southern Intercollegiate Championships hosted by the University of Georgia.
The Bisons faced some of the strongest competition they will see all season over the weekend, but head coach Mario Hernandez thinks his team showed they were up for the task.
“I think our guys got to face really good competition,” Hernandez said. “We got to see our guys compete at that level. And I think our guys competed really well.”
The tournament featured players from schools all across the Southeast, including Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Florida, among others.
Freshman Victor Chaw had a strong debut for the Bisons, as he was able to advance to the semifinals of his draw. Chaw picked up wins over players from Kennesaw State, Miami and Oklahoma before being ousted by the draws eventual winner Andrei Andrukhou of Georgia State.
“They were hitting the ball well, playing well,” Hernandez said. “We had a couple of guys perform well in the latter half. Victor (Chaw) played well throughout.”
The Bisons had many matches go the full three sets during the tournament. While Hernandez was encouraged by his guys competing and being in close matches against good competition, he now wants to see them pull wins out as they had a 4-8 record in such matches.
“One of the main things is committing to what you’ve been working on in practice and doing it in those tense situations…consistently forcing yourself to go after the point,” Hernandez said.
The Bisons will now go fully into their fall schedule, as they will participate in tournaments every week of October. They hit the court next on September 30 through October 2 when they send four players to take place in the Dick LaLance Showdown in Murfreesboro, Tenn.