LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Under first-year head coach, and former NCCAA All-American, John Hirte, the Covenant men's and women's tennis teams were in rebuilding mode for the 2012-13 season.
The women went 4-12 in the spring season with a 4-5 record in GSAC matches. The men suffered through a tough year as they went winless in 13 tries.
There were some bright moments for the women's team, however. The Lady Scots swept the season series from Salem by winning both matches 9-0. The women also prevailed in the final two contests of the year, a 9-0 win over Wesleyan and a 5-4 defeat of Spelman.
The season finale against Spelman is an interesting tale. The match was rescheduled multiple times before the two institutions were able to find a day that worked for both. Scheduled for an on-campus match at Covenant, the first one in a long time, thunderstorms on Lookout Mountain ruined any chance of playing outdoors. The match was then moved to an indoor location in Chattanooga later the same day.
Covenant and Spelman went back-and-forth late into the early spring night. The final outcome hung in the balance heading into the final singles match pitting the Lady Scots' Sara Kathryn Cole against Spelman's Leah Howard. After dropping the first set, Cole rallied to take the final two sets 6-2, 6-3 to claim the win and give the Lady Scots their fourth victory of the year.
Senior Anne Marie Rowe was voted to the GSAC All-Conference team. Rowe led Covenant with nine singles victories, including six inside the conference. She also teamed up with her sister, Gretchen Rowe, for six doubles victories.
Freshman Catherine Landers snared a spot on the GSAC All-Freshman squad after a promising rookie campaign. Landers won four singles matches, tied for second on the team, to go along with three doubles wins.
The men had a rough time during the season. Effort was there and spirits were always high, but the Scots were outmanned in most matches.
Hirte expects to have solid recruiting classes coming in for both the men's and women's programs starting in the fall of 2013. Six new tennis courts are also planned to be built on campus and are hoped to be ready for the 2014 spring season. Once the courts are built, Covenant will be able to host matches on-campus.