Net Force: UT Tyler tennis sweep ASC titles


The UT Tyler tennis teams are kings and queens of the court once again.

For the second consecutive year as well as seven of the last eight seasons, the Patriots are American Southwest Conference champions. All of the ASC titles have been under coach Chris Bizot.

The Patriot men, the No. 1 seeds from the East Division and ranked No. 20 in the nation, were up first and scored a 5-0 victory over West No. 1 seed Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Next up were the Patriot women as the East No. 1 seeded UT Tyler downed West No. 1 seed Hardin-Simmons 5-1.

Both matches were played at the Summers Tennis Center on the UT Tyler campus.

The victories earn UT Tyler berths in the NCAA Division III national tennis tournament. The Patriots will find out where they will be playing at 11 a.m. on May 4 when the NCAA will announce selections and playing sites.

UT Tyler claimed both Most Valuable Players honors and Chris Bizot was voted Coach of the Year.

Harry Kelleher, a senior from Sydney, Australia, was voted MVP of the men's tournament, while Jennifer Payne, a senior from Amarillo, earned the women's honor.

Joining Kelleher on the all-tournament team from UT Tyler were Daniel Budd (junior, Vancouver, British Columbia), Chris Wootton (senior, Dallas) and Jerry Puckey (junior, Polperro, England). Other members of the all-tourney squad were Scott Wilding, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Jacob Stamps, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Michael McLaughlin, LeTourneau; and Bishop Bass, Ozarks.

Along with Payne making all-tournament from UT Tyler were Sarah Moses (freshman, Corpus Christi), Janae Warren (junior, New Braunfels) and Nicole Musngi (junior, Rowlett).

Others on the all-tourney team were Michaela Ellison, Hardin-Simmons; Hannan Smith, Hardin-Simmons; Casey Johnson, UT Dallas; and Elizabeth Ostroff, Mary Hardin-Baylor.



The doubles teams got the winning started for the Patriots, as the No. 3 team of Alex Free (freshman, Johns Creek, Georgia) and Kelleher defeated the Cru's Tevin Ogo and John Martin, 8-3.UT Tyler doubles No. 2 Ryan Elwood (sophomore, Cypress) and Budd won 8-2 over Mark Johnson and Brendan Thompson.

Frankie Fischer (junior, Georgetown) and Wootton also notched a win for the Patriots at No. 1 doubles, 8-6, over Scott Wilding and Jacob Stamps, putting UT Tyler up 3-0.

Puckey once again won 6-0, 6-0 for the second-straight match, taking No. 6 singles over Ogo.Needing just one more win, Kelleher clinched the championship for the Patriots, winning 6-1, 6-0 at No. 4 singles over Thompson.

The Patriots are 18-8 on the season.



The Patriots (17-7) were just too tough for the Cowgirls.

All three doubles matches were close, but UT Tyler came out on top in each.

At No. 1 doubles, UT Tyler's Amy Friesenhahn (senior, Austin) and Tori Musngi (sophomore, Rowlett) defeated HSU's Jasmine Briant and Shayne Cook, 8-5.Moses and Payne picked up a win at No. 2, 8-6.

Nicole Musngi and Emily Hoover (freshman, Tyler) gave the Patriots a 3-0 lead in the match, defeating the Cowgirls, 8-5.

Payne pushed the Patriots to a 4-0 lead by defeating Jenna Smith 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3 singles, and Warren put an end to the proceedings.

Warren defeated Lauren Weinheimer 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6 singles, clinching the victory.

UT Tyler first became eligible in NCAA Division III in 2008 and have won the tennis title each year save for the 2013 season when UT Dallas upset the Patriots.




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I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.