Tennis gears up for first tournament this fall


Courtesy of Wolf Pack Athletics

Grad student Aubin Duchier works on his backhand at XULA Tennis Center. Wolf Pack tennis is starting their season this coming weekend.

Matthew Richards, Asst Sports

The Loyola men’s and women’s tennis teams have geared up for the start of their season all year, and the beginning of the season is marked by the International Tennis Association Gulf Regional Tournament beginning Sept. 30.
According to Head Coach Matt Llewellyn, the team was “young” last year, and he said he is looking forward to having his players grow as the team competes this season.
“Now that COVID is somewhat in the rear view, everyone was able to go home this offseason, both U.S. and internationally, and practice more consistently,” Llewellyn said.
The winners of the tournament Sept. 30 will advance to the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia which will be held later this fall. Llewellyn said the tournament Sept. 30 is unique because players represent their school as individuals instead of as a team.
But the overall goal of the team this year is to make the national championship tournament in the spring, according to Llewellyn.
“We got really close last year, and that’s certainly the focus of this season,” he said.
He added that last season, two members of the team, Lucy Carpenter and Fatima Vasquez, made it to the doubles final at Nicholls University. He said that he is hoping to duplicate that success this year.
Carpenter and Vasquez were ranked 19th in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tennis rankings last season. Carpenter also had success in the singles competition, landing at number 23 in the rankings and claiming the Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year Award last year.
“It was really cool to be named Conference Player of the Year,” Carpenter said. “I felt like I finished last season really strong with a 10 game winning streak, and I’m looking to carry that momentum into this tournament.”
The tournament will run from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 at the City Park Tennis Center and the Xavier University of Louisiana Tennis Center.