Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:30 pm | Author: Erik Kringlie
For the first time since its creation in 2004, the Viking Club Tennis team qualified and traveled to the United States Tennis Association National Tournament in Surprise, Arizona, April 11th-13th. The USTA National Tournament hosted 64 of the top university club team from around the nation including team such as: Duke, UCLA, Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley and 4 teams for our USTA Northern Section: U of M, NDSU, SDSU and VCSU. The tournament is formatted to be played across three days and play every team out to the last place, which is 64th. This meant VCSU played seven matches across three day and finished 63rd overall.

The seven VCSU club team members that traveled to nationals were: Katie Paulson, Erika Lutjens, Kayla Geske, Kurt Brown, Alex Conlon, Josh Gilbertson, and Tanner Beauchman.

The Vikings faced a tough first day including last year's runner-up, University of Virginia, and two other top schools from California and Texas. The big highlight from the pool play on Thursday was our first ever set win at Nationals by team captain and senior Katie Paulson. VCSU finished 4th out of 4 teams in their pool and was then drawn into the Copper Bracket for Friday and Saturday.

Saturday was a much better day for the Vikings, facing off against Washington University, SDSU and St. Mary's. The Vikings lost all three matches but took two of them into overtime play and saw set wins by men's captain Kurt Brown and a mixed doubles wins by Alex Conlon and Katie Paulson.

Saturday the Vikings faced off against Oakland University of Michigan in the 63rd / 64th place match. VCSU played their best tennis of the week and pulled out our first ever match win at a national tournament with a score of 24-20. The match saw big wins at both women's and men's doubles by Katie Paulson/Erika Lutjens and Josh Gilbertson/Tanner Beauchman as well as a big win at women's singles by Katie Paulson. The match ultimately came down to the mixed doubles match with Vikings Alex Conlon and Erika Lutjens winning in a tie-breaker 6-5 to secure the victory.

Overall this was an incredible experience for the Viking Club Tennis team and hopefully will not be our last trip to the National Tournament!

Day-by-Day Results:
Pool Play (Thursday, April 11th):
Match 1: VCSU vs. University of Virginia
Vikings - 2
Cavaliers - 30

Match 2: VCSU vs. University of Santa Barbara
Vikings - 2
Gauchos - 30

Match 3: VCSU vs. Lone Star College - Texas
Vikings - 9
LSCS - 27

Copper Bracket (Friday, April 12th):
Round 1: VCSU vs. Washington University of St. Louis
Vikings - 15
Bears - 30

Round 2: VCSU vs. South Dakota State University
Vikings - 14
Jackrabbits - 27
Went into overtime play

Round 3: VCSU vs. St. Mary's College - Oakland
Vikings - 18
Gaels - 27
Went into overtime play

Copper Bracket (Saturday, April 13th):
To determine 63rd and 64th place: VCSU vs Oakland University of Michigan
Vikings - 24
Grizzlies - 20