Tim Pullig was 12-0 and Michael Dare was 9-0 as the Sam Houston State club tennis team earned a first place finish in the Silver Division of the Club Tennis College Championships at Texas A&M last weekend.
The Bearkats defeated the Aggies in the first round and two rounds later toppled UT-Austin in the finals for the division title.
“This is the best tennis team we’ve ever had,” Dare, SHSU Club Tennis president, said. “We clinched the division for our best finish ever and we’re returning all of our guys on the A team.”
The Bearkats, who have nearly doubled in number from last year with 23 members, competed against a field of 60 teams and came away with a 17th place finish.
“We mesh well together and everybody brings something different to the team,” Dare said. “We were able to bring more people and give more people a chance to compete.”
After defeating TCU and Baylor in pool play to determine which division they would compete in, the Bearkats picked up their only loss of the tournament in a tie-breaker match against Texas A&M.
In the second and third rounds, the Bearkats defeated Texas-San Antonio and Texas-Arlington to advance to the finals against the Longhorns.
With their biggest roster ever, the Bearkats were able to bring seventeen players to the tournament.
With the expanded roster and influx of new talent this year, the team divided into three separate divisions of A (Orange), B (Blue) and C (Bearkat).
“The other teams (B, C) could have left but they stayed and supported us in the finals,” Dare said. “So we were playing the final match and we had 14 supporters there on the court with us.”
After losing the match against the Aggies in pool play, the SHSU men went undefeated in bracket play.
“Hopefully, winning our division will help us with recruiting,” Dare said. “I think we have far exceeded expectations.”