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Season-in-Review: Men's Tennis

Nina Grauley/ Sports Informantion
Nina Grauley/ Sports Informantion

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LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's tennis record book will once again be rewritten after the Scots put together another historical season, both as a team and individually, in 2018.

The Scots, under sixth-year head coach John Hirte, finished with a program-best 15-5 overall record and claimed a second straight USA South West Division regular season title after going 8-1 in league play. Covenant achieved its first ITA regional ranking during the year, where it currently sits at No. 17. The Scots were also voted as the USA South Team Sportsmanship Award winner for the sport for a second consecutive year. 

Individually, Covenant saw two players end their careers in record-breaking fashion.

Seniors Matthew Harvie and Chris Cox blasted program records, both for a career and single-season, during the year. Harvie became a four-time All-USA South first team honoree after going 16-2 overall in singles, including a 15-1 mark in dual matches and 7-0 in the USA South. Harvie eclipsed the 50 career win total in both singles and doubles play on the year and finishes his outstanding four years with 51 singles wins and 54 in doubles. Additionally, Harvie has been regionally ranked by the ITA in every poll during the spring and currently sits at No. 17.

Cox earned a fourth straight All-USA South nod as he was selected to the all-conference first team. The senior set a program single-season record with 17 singles wins, while also breaking the career wins record with 56 on the singles side. Cox went 17-3 overall and 16-2 in dual matches, including a perfect 7-0 in the USA South.

As good as they were individually, Harvie and Cox also thrived together as the No. 1 doubles team. The pair put on a show during the season going 19-2, each player setting a season record for doubles wins, and won a program-record 17 consecutive matches to end the year. Harvie and Cox breezed through USA South play with an 8-0 record and were 18-1 in dual matches.

Harvie and Cox were key to Covenant getting off to its best start in program history. The Scots won their lone fall dual match, a 7-2 victory over Christian Brothers, and then won seven straight in the spring after dropping the opener to Birmingham Southern. The seven-match win streak set a program record and gave Covenant an 8-1 overall record in early March.

Covenant won its first five USA South contests before slipping at Piedmont on March 28. However, the Scots rebounded and would earn a hard-fought, 5-4 win over LaGrange on March 31 and a 9-0 win at Berea on April 5 to claim the program's second straight West Division regular season title.

Covenant would earn a bye into the semifinal round of the USA South Tournament before narrowly falling to Methodist, 5-4. 

Two other Scots posted double-digit win totals in singles play. Sophomores Logan Hull and Ben Tonkel anchored their parts of the lineup with strong seasons. Hull went 13-10 overall, with a 12-8 mark in dual matches, while Tonkel tallied 11 singles wins, all of which came in dual matches. Freshman Taylor Galloway had nine singles wins and paired with Hull to go 12-6 in doubles play. Freshman Paxton Haggerty was the team's USA South All-Sportsmanship honoree and had six singles wins on the year and junior Trey Wood totaled 11 doubles wins for the season.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Check out highlights from Covenant's 6-3 win over Piedmont on March 23

AWARD WINNERS:

All-USA South
Matthew Harvie - 1st team
Chris Cox - 1st team

All-USA South West Division
Matthew Harvie - 1st team
Chris Cox - 1st team

USA South All-Sportsmanship
Paxton Haggerty

USA South Player of the Week
Matthew Harvie - Feb. 19, April 2
Chris Cox - March 26

USA South Team Sportsmanship Award
Team

CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS

Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here

Tennis Matches Postponed
April 11, 2018 Tennis Matches Postponed