The University of Indianapolis’ men’s tennis team has made UIndy history with junior doubles partners Dario Huber and Renato Lima winning the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Cup Doubles Draw, making them the first male greyhounds to do so, according to UIndy Athletics. The duo then went to California to participate in the ITA Fall National Championships Nov. 6-10.
“It’s been a privilege to be the first one in the history of the university,” Lima said. “We want to take these programs to the best level possible. We want to keep the level up, so the next recruits are even better. It’s amazing to have these results, especially for UIndy and for the other players as well, so they can see us doing well and they can come to UIndy and increase [the levels] even more.”
According to Lima, the doubles pair was not ranked at the beginning of the season. Until recently, the two were not doubles partners and they had only played together once in their careers. Huber was partnered with Matej Kostadinov, who graduated last season, before switching and playing with Lima.
“We played the very first match of our collegiate career and we actually won that match, but after that we didn’t play at all together,” Lima said. “So I was very surprised how well we did together these last few tournaments and we hope to keep playing together.”
To keep their momentum going and to try and replicate their success in the national championship, Lima said that they have not changed the way they practice.
Their head coach, Malik Tabet, has given them a specific training regimen to follow and Lima said they are doing their best to follow it. In the ITA Fall National Championships they will be competing with both D1 and D2 athletes.
“Of course we have a different perspective now because we are going to be playing with the Division I, which is technically higher level players,” Lima said. “But we haven’t struggled ourselves and we [are] going to try and do [our] best possible on the court.”
Huber said that it felt amazing to win the ITA Cup Doubles Draw. He said that it became an even better win because of all of the times when their matches were close and he was not sure that they would win.
“It’s just amazing. Sometimes I think we still can’t believe that we are here,” Huber said. “Three times it could have went the other way. We were down in the Division II National Finals, we were down in the Super Bowl final, and the grand regionals semi-final. They were close moments. It was incredible and it could have went bad-luck for us and we probably wouldn’t be here today. So I think that’s amazing.”
Huber said that one of the reasons they have made it to the national championship is because of their ability to adjust during matches, listen to their coach and implement those adjustments in later matches, although Tabet will not be with them in Californa. He also credits the duo’s chemistry playing together.
“We are a bit both ambitious,— we also have fun of course,— we play ambitious,” Huber said. “It’s not like ‘We have to, we have to,’ it’s more ambitious. We both want to win but we have fun together and that’s a good combination.”