Riddle and Harris Place Sixth at Intercollegiate Tennis Assocation Nationals Tournament

Sara Levering, Sports Co-Editor

In the Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Small-College Nationals in Surprise, Arizona, Ella Riddle, ‘18, and Elsa Harris, ‘19, finished sixth in the nation in doubles tennis play. The top eight doubles teams in the nation played at this tournament.

Though, falling to the number one seed and the eventual champions of the tournament, Riddle and Harris played extremely well overall. They had the toughest draw of the entire tournament. In the first round, they faced the number one seed from Emory. In the second round, they faced the number four seed from UT-Dallas in a tight three-set battle to come out with the victory. In their final match, they played Pomona-Pitzer.  

Co-Head Coach Carl Swanson was pleased with the result, since considering last fall, they weren’t the top team in the Northwest Conference. This past spring, they became the top team to finish in the Northwest Conference and was one of the top twenty doubles teams in the nation. A couple weekends ago, Riddle and Harris were crowned All-Americans and won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Championship within the Northwest Conference.

“They played well, they overcame injuries and an emotional loss in the first match, to bounce back and really establish themselves as one of the top doubles teams in the nation,” Swanson said.

“The highlight was beating the #4 seeds from UT-Dallas in an epic three set battle that took over two hours to complete. Ella and Elsa fought off two match points and on the final point, Elsa chased down a ball that looked unreachable and not only did she get the ball, she calmly hit for a winner right in between their two stunned opponents,” Swanson said.

“I also loved the fact that Ella played three matches, even though she wasn’t 100% physically – her mental toughness, competitive spirit, and will to win was inspiring and her fire stood out and was recognized by other coaches and players” Swanson continued.  

On improvement for the upcoming spring season, “We are always looking to improve areas of our game, we want to play dynamic doubles, mix up our formations, look to go forward and take the fight to our opponents by playing on our terms at our tempo” Swanson said.