On Sunday, April 16, the club tennis took home the gold for Auburn in the closest match that has occurred in the last seventeen years of the event.
The scoring goes as follows: You have five lines total — two double lines, two singles lines, and one mixed doubles line. Then the game scores from each set counts to your total score. The team with the highest total score at the end of the match wins.
Auburn defeated the University of Illinois, North Dakota State University and UC-Davis in pool play. It then beat Dartmouth in the Sweet Sixteen, UC Berkeley in the Elite Eight, and Cornell in the Final Four before the reached the North Carolina Tar Heels in the finals.
Auburn and UNC kept it close.
“It was tied 22-22 after all of the lines finished," said club member Will McWhirt. "So we played a super-tiebreak and we won it 7-5."
Auburn’s mixed doubles team, Ashley Kitchen and Mitchell Vegas, finished the tournament and secured the win for the Tigers.
Auburn’s tennis team currently has 30 members, but only the top eight get to participate in tournaments.
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This means that many of the team members played a double-digit number of sets in a weekend. This translates to numerous hours in the sun for the players.
But although only a fraction of the team played in the tournament, it didn’t mean the rest of the squad was not there Sunday. The team, clad in Auburn gear and some body painted, rallied around their eight participants and made their presence felt during the final moments of the tournament. They were a huge part of the late momentum swing in Auburn’s favor.
The players were in large agreement with thanking their teammates who drove to Cary, NC to support them.
Captain Christian Lyerly, who won his lone match in the national tournament, encourages anyone who wants to participate to join.
“People can join at any time," said Lyerly. At the beginning of the year, there’s an event at Campus Rec called ‘Get Rec’d’, and that’s kind of our big promotion to sign up.”
He associates many of his friendships with his time on the team as well.
“It’s just a lot of fun getting to travel and hanging out with other teams," Lyerly said. "I think all of us on the team have become really good friends. It’s just a really good experience for meeting new people.”
The club practices on Mondays and Thursdays and participates in approximately 5-7 tournaments every year. Every tournament is outside of the state of Alabama.
If you are interested in joining the Tennis Club, feel free to visit
https://auburn.collegiatelink.net/organization/tennis/about or follow them @AUClubTennis on Twitter.
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