Tennis sends one to USTA/ITA Nationals

The University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s tennis teams both participated in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Regional Tournament. The men competed on Sept. 19-21, and the women competed on Sept. 25-27.

Newcomer junior Arklon Huertas del Pino and sophomore Stephanie Hirsch will be traveling to the United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Individual Tournament after winning regionals.

While competing in the tournament, UIndy’s Hirsch earned her second consecutive ITA Midwest Regional championship. On the way to the championship she defeated all of her opponent in two sets, with the championship match being decided by a tiebreaker. Hirsch gained a 5-1 lead, but Tiffin University’s junior Caroline Nelhage quickly caught up tying it up at 6-6. On match point Nelhage hit the net giving Hirsch her second Regional title.

Also competing in the singles bracket was seniors Macey Speer and Allie Smith, along with sophomores Paige and Dana Olsen and junior Selenay Heper.

The Olsen sisters competed in the “B” bracket for UIndy. Paige made it out of her first match, but was beat 6-4, 7-6(7) in her second. Dana made it to the quarterfinals before losing (6-3, 6-3).

Along side Hirsch in the “A” bracket was Smith, Speer and Heper. Smith fought her way all the way to the semifinal round where she was beat by Nelhage 6-2, 6-1.

Speer was defeated in her first round 6-3 and 6-1. Heper it to the round of 32.

In doubles play, Speer and Smith represented UIndy in bracket “A”. The duo made it all the way to the quarterfinals before losing 8-6. Also in the “A” bracket was Hirsch and sophomore Florence Renard. The pair made it to the final round and faced Lewis University’s number one seeded pair. Hirsch and Renard fell 8-4 in the finals.

The Olsen twins took on the “B” side for UIndy making it all the way to the final round before falling 8-2 in the finals.

Looking to the spring season, Hirsch believes the team is capable of a lot.

“Last year we won conference, regionals, and made it to nationals. And I think we should at least do the same this season, if not going further,” Hirsch said. “We are all working very hard and if we keep up this work then I think we can go far.”

For the men, sophomore Christoph Drechsler, senior Luke Hubert, sophomore Andrea Morlet and Huertas del Pino competed in the “A” singles bracket, while junior Marco Razo and sophomore Dean Dumitru represented the Greyhounds in the “B” bracket.

In the “A” bracket, Morlet was defeated in the second round, and Drechsler was defeated in the quarterfinals (6-3, 6-3). In the “B” bracket, Razo was defeated in his first match. Dumitru fought his way through three matches to lose 6-0, 6-4, which kept him from the quarterfinals.

Representing UIndy in doubles play in bracket “A” was Drechsler and Huertas del Pino. The pair was defeated in their second match of the day in a tight 9-8 set. Morlet and Razo made one match further, leading them to a quarterfinals match against where they lost 8-4.

In the “B” bracket for doubles, Hubert and Cordova represented UIndy all the way to the semifinals. The duo topped their opponents by at least five points each match. In the semifinals, the Greyhound pair fell to Southern Indiana 8-4.

The main attraction was the Hubert and Huertas del Pino match in the finals.

Before the championship match between Hubert and Huertas del Pino on Sept. 23, Hubert was pleased that UIndy would be represented at the National Tournament no matter what the outcome of the match was.

“It is always nice to know that one of the two of us … will be going to Nationals to represent us [UIndy men’s tennis],” Hubert said.

In the finals match, Huertas del Pino won over Hubert in two sets of 6-4. Huertas del Pino is the first UIndy men’s tennis player to win regionals.

Huertas del Pino and Hirsch will represent UIndy when the two travel to South Carolina to compete in the USTA/ITA National Individual Tournament Oct. 15-18.