Colorado College students returned last week from block break eager to boast about the backpacking adventures they survived, the 14ers they summited, and how aspen trees lit up the hillsides around every bend.
Four members of the CC tennis team came home with stories of their own—and even some hardware—as they traveled to the Claremont Colleges in California to compete in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships.
Senior captain Jack Burger, senior captain Mary Edman, sophomore Jason Gutierrez, and first-year Fiona Cerf represented CC in the annual tournament, which included some of the best schools in Division III tennis, such as Pomona-Pitzer, Claremont McKenna, and La Verne.
“We definitely entered the tournament as underdogs,” said Edman. “Most schools got to fly out entire teams, but we were only allowed four players.”
Those four players made a statement. Cerf, a freshman from Seattle, won her first round of singles in the main draw and then made it to the semifinals of the consolation bracket, losing to eventual consolation champ Kayla Scott of Claremont.
In doubles play, Cerf and Edman lost a close match in the first round, 8-6, but then bounced back to win the consolation bracket, topping Pomona-Pitzer’s Mallory Roth and Katie Li 9-7 for the championship.
“I think we proved to people that when we play well, we can compete with some of the best schools in Division III tennis,” Burger said.
“Watching Fiona kill it” was his favorite part of the weekend, Burger added. “This is a huge accomplishment for our tennis team as Fiona’s wins mark the first for Colorado College at this tournament in the past two years.”
Edman said winning the tightly contested consolation championship in doubles was rewarding. “The finals match in consolation was mostly a mental battle to keep fighting after such a long weekend,” explained Edman. “It was a hard weekend for us because we took a lot of beatings playing all these top notch players and it felt good to finally win one.”
Burger, Gutierrez, and Edman all lost their first-round singles matches and their first matches in the consolation bracket.
Burger and Gutierrez lost in the first round of main draw doubles and then dropped a close 8-6 match to a duo from Claremont in the consolation bracket to finish out the tournament.
Both captains described the weekend as a success. “It felt good to have these other schools take a look at us and realize that Colorado College could be real contenders in the future,” Edman said.