Women’s Tennis Puts on a Show in All-Trinity Doubles Final; Cushing, Levy Earn Bid to ITA Cup
SAN ANTONIO – Trinity University Women's Tennis made the most of its all-Tiger doubles showdown in the 2022 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southwest Regional Championships finale Sunday in the battle for a trip to the ITA Cup.
Junior Cate Cushing (Colleyville, Texas / Colleyville Heritage) and first-year Trinity Levy (Camarillo, Calif. / Weil Tennis Academy) rallied from a 7-5 first-set miscue to defeat their teammates, sophomore duo Olivia Kim (Phoenix, Ariz. / Desert Mountain) and Ruth Hill (Abilene, Texas / Abilene), in a 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-6) final tally.
The entire match was a seesaw affair as neither duo held a margin of more than one game until Hill and Kim concluded the first at 7-5, though the sophomores held the lead from the start aside from a brief deficit at 3-2.
The script was flipped in the second as Cushing and Levy maintained a one-game advantage throughout until Kim and Hill forced the set into extras. Just as they had the entire way, even the tiebreaker held a one-point advantage until this season's newly-minted duo took the equalizer, 7-5.
The back-and-forth theme continued early into the superbreaker as they returned to the benches knotted up at 3-3. For the first time Sunday afternoon, one of the Tiger duos seized control as Cushing and Levy went on a 5-1 run en route to their victorious 10-6 mark.
Cushing and Levy earned All-American status with Sunday's victory, the 52nd and 53rd players in program history and the 110th overall selection, and will receive an automatic bid to the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia which begins on October 13.
Levy became the first Tiger rookie to earn All-America honors since the 2011 ITA regional competition. Eleven years ago, to the day, another all-Trinity doubles championship created the last Tiger first-year All-American, Mackenzie Knoop. The site of the 2011 championship stands as the lone notable difference between the occurrences as now-NCAA II University of Texas-Tyler played host.
Hill and Kim, a nationally-ranked duo from last season, will await the at-large bidding process as the ITA will fill out the remainder of the ITA Cup doubles bracket the week of October 3.
Levy also took part in the singles finale Sunday morning prior to the doubles matchup, but fell in straight 6-1 sets.
The 2023 dual match season begins January 27 at Hardin-Simmons University as part of a weekend trip that features NCAA I Abilene Christian University on the docket. The 2023 home-opener is slated for February 11 against NCAA I University of the Incarnate Word.