Men’s tennis using fall invitationals to ready for regular season

A pair of sophomores claimed singles victories over the weekend


Tanner Lindsay, Contributing Writer

The UNC Wilmington men’s tennis team participated in the Southern Exposure Sunrooms Seahawk Fall Tennis Invitational this past weekend, and sophomores Michael Morphy and Daniel Groom walked away from the tournament with individual titles.

Morphy won his bracket by defeating Longwood senior Jorge Godoy, while Groom became victorious by defeating Appalachian State freshman Ben Webster.

The tennis team, however, doesn’t enter these preseason tournaments with the intention of winning every single one. Instead, they are used as preparation for the regular season in the spring.

Morphy and Groom both believe the preseason tournaments help the team see how they compare to other schools.

“It’s good to see other schools and the freshman they’ve brought in,” said Morphy. “We can see the other competition and see what level they’re at.”

Groom said most of the schools at the invitational are on their regular season schedule. He believes picking up wins now gives them a lot of confidence over these teams going forward.

The tournaments can also be a great confidence booster for a team that will defend its Colonial Athletic Association championship in 2018. The Seahawks hope to bounce back from being eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Wake Forest.

“In tennis, we’re always trying to get better,” said Matt DuBois, head coach of the men’s tennis team. “Confidence in tennis is huge. It’s such a mental game and winning helps a lot.”

“We had four or five guys make finals in doubles or singles,” said Morphy. “It shows that we put in a lot of work this summer and it gives confidence to the whole team.”

Finally, these tournaments help the players work on their weaknesses.

“You can work individually on what you’ve been practicing on,” said Morphy. “There’s not a lot of pressure so you can just let loose and have fun with it.”

“It’s just good to be put into a match situation and use what you’ve been working on in practice,” said Groom. “It’s something that means a little bit more than just a practice set against your teammates.”

DuBois said the fall season is more about improvement rather than wins and losses. He said he gives the team a little more freedom to work on things in these matches.

The tennis team will participate in several more preseason tournaments this fall. Their next one is the Rice Fall Invitational, which begins Sept. 29.