DCU tennis taking the positives from National Intervarsities

Katie Lowry

The DCU men’s first tennis team lost narrowly to Trinity College Dublin in the final of 2020 National Intervarsities.

Two DCU ladies’ teams and three men’s teams competed in the intervarsity competition hosted by UCC in Sunday’s Well, Cork from 27th February to 1st March.

The men’s 1s, seeded number one as reigning champions, started the competition with a convincing 5-0 tie against CIT.

Next up for DCU was a competitive and strong UCC team who were eager to reach the final on home soil. An exciting and nail-biting tie which went right down to the wire at 4-4 a piece meant it was all left to the final doubles, who triumphed in a third set championship tie break, 14-12.

Sean McCullagh ranked first on the men’s 1s team said “It was an incredibly tense and tight contest. I started my singles on Friday evening but after winning the first set 6-4 the torrential rain stopped play, so I had to come back the next morning to finish the match. I won the second set in a tie break to clinch a point for the team.”

The men’s final was a re-match between DCU and Trinity once again, making DCU even hungrier for the win for a second time in a row.  Six tight singles matches meant doubles was going to be the decider and unfortunately Trinity edged ahead with a solid performance and at 5-3 they clinched the title and took back the trophy from DCU.

McCullagh, who won all his matches for the second year in a row in the tournament said, “we came up short, but I loved every minute of it.”

DCU ladies 1s, seeded second in the tournament, received a bye into the second round after coming runners up last year. The team beat Trinity 2s in their opening game with a convincing 5-2 win meaning the girls were into the semi-final.

Trinity 1s were up next, where all six girls battled it out and tried their hardest but unfortunately TDC proved too strong and DCU lost 5-1. Niamh Nolan of DCU’s talent shone on the court and clinched DCU’s only point in the tie.

Sinead Keogh, DCU ladies’ first team member said, “Last year we got to the final, so we were really out for revenge this year and keen to get the win. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us this year, but we are still delighted to have reached the semi-final.”

Team tennis consists of six players on each team ranked from one to six who will all play a singles match and then go on to play three doubles matches if necessary.

Whoever wins at least five of the nine matches wins the tie. The six singles matches are usually played at the same time and if one team wins at least five of those the doubles matches do not have to be played.

The ladies second team had a strong tournament too where they beat UCC 3s in their first match and continued their success, reaching the final where they narrowly lost to UCC 2s, playing superb tennis in extremely tough weather conditions.

The men’s 2s got off to a great start with a 5-3 victory against Trinity 2s but unfortunately that was the end of their campaign when UCD 1s proved too strong, losing 5-2. DCU men’s 3s lost in their opening round to UCD 4s.

Niamh Nolan of the ladies 1s said, “We’re happy with the result especially with a few new additions to the team this year and we’re looking forward to building on it for next year.”

Reilly summed up the tournament saying “Everybody competed really well, and we had a brilliant time at intervarsities. Although the results didn’t go our way, we had such a fun weekend, and everybody worked so hard throughout the year and this weekend. Thanks to UCC too for hosting the tournament, you guys did an incredible job.”

Katie Lowry

Image credit DCU Tennis