and queens of the court
Tennis teams continue their reign
over conference opponents
The mens and womens tennis teams have combined for seven Southland Conference championships in the last four years, yet head coach Patric DuBois isnt comfortable labeling his program a dynasty.
Whats the definition of a dynasty? he asks with a laugh. I wouldnt say were a dynasty. But were at a level where our mens and womens teams are always in a position to win first place in the conference.
Its a familiar position.
The Mavericks swept the doubles matches, then won three straight singles matches to avenge their only conference loss of the regular season. The men, who entered the tournament seeded second behind UTSA, posted 4-0 victories over Centenary and Southeastern Louisiana in the first two rounds.
The womens team proved just as formidable during the tournament, defeating Southeastern Louisiana, 4-0, in the semifinals and UTSA, 4-0, in the finals. The Lady Mavericks won all 10 regular-season conference matches for the third consecutive year. Including tournament victories, they have won 36 straight matches against SLC foes.
Individual honors with an international
Also selected to the first team in singles were Cizova, Marie Stepanova, Jitka Vetrovcova and Ana Lukner. Lukner and Gwendolyn Behrendt were named to the first team in No. 2 doubles, and Behrendt also earned Freshman of the Year honors.
On the mens side, junior Andy Leber was named the Player of the Year for the second straight season and was selected to the first team in No. 1 singles. Senior Per-Erik Karlsson earned first-team recognition in both singles and doubles, and sophomore Alon Goldshuv was a first-team singles selection. David Corrie was named Freshman of the Year.
The award winners and their teammates read like a roll call at the United Nations. The mens team features players from South Africa, Norway, Austria, Poland, Lebanon, Israel, England, Columbia and the United States. Womens players hail from South Africa, Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia and the United States.
A communication breakdown? Almost never, DuBois says.
Its rare that we have communication problems,
says the seven-time SLC Coach of the Year, who notes that all the players
speak English fluently. Our teams do very well academically.
Searching for the next Sampras
Our assistant coaches have strong European ties, and weve made lots of contacts throughout the world, DuBois says. Frankly, its tough for us to get the quality of players we need in Texas and the U.S. There just arent enough to go around.
The success of both teams has made the recruiting process easier. The men have been nationally ranked the past five years and the women the past two years. Lofty rankings attract international players, DuBois says.
Postseason play also helps the program gain recognition. The mens team made its first NCAA Tournament appearance this season, and the womens team received its third consecutive tournament berth.
It definitely helps in recruiting when you put
on your résumé that you went to the NCAA Tournament,
DuBois says. Plus, its a nice bonus for our players at the
end of the year.
The men lose two seniors but return Player of the Year Leber. The women must replace Player of the Year Jackson, but everybody else returns. With the addition of two top German recruits for the women and a junior college All-American from Beaumont for the men, the teams appear primed to continue their SLC reign.