WSCC ATHLETICS: Wallace State’s men’s tennis team wins 2nd ACCC title in 3 seasons; women’s tennis finishes ACCC runner-up

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Wallace State’s men’s tennis team won the program’s second conference championship in three seasons over the weekend. Pictured are, front row, from left, Ben Hicks, Sebastian Arce and Matthew Ridden, back row, from left, assistant coach Tim Garner, Will Brackin, Nick Hester, Andrew Bizilia, Zach Mastin, Ethan Aycock, Jack Bowen and coach Tony Franklin. (photo courtesy of Russell Moore)

HANCEVILLE, ALA. — Wallace State’s men’s tennis team is the Alabama Community College Conference champion for the second time in three seasons.

The Lions swept through tournament action at Alexander City over the weekend, breezing to the title.

Wallace State freshman Sebastian Arce earned the 2019 ACCC individual championship and the conference MVP, while Wallace State assistant coach Tim Garner was named the 2019 ACCC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year.

Wallace State’s men’s team went undefeated through conference match play during the regular season and didn’t let up in tournament.

“Words can’t express how proud I am of our men. They work extremely hard and have worked all spring on improving in doubles play. That’s been a huge difference. They deserve all the credit for going out and sweeping the tournament,” said Wallace State tennis coach Tony Franklin. “I’m looking forward to nationals. We have a very competitive team, and I think we can do well.”

Arce, Ethan Aycock, Nick Hester, Andrew Bizilia, William Brackin and Zach Mastin each picked up singles wins for the Lions at the conference tournament. Wallace State’s doubles duos of Arce and Brackin, Hester and Aycock, and Bizilia and Ben Hicks also prevailed.

Arce earned individual recognition after losing only one match all season (in a non-conference match).

“Sebastian is a crafty player and very smart. He’s one of the most determined players I’ve coached. He finds a way to run down any ball and make a play on it,” Franklin said.

Garner was named ACCC Coach of the Year after working solely with the men during dual matches.

“Tim (Garner) does a great job with our men, and I thought he deserved the award,” Franklin said.

Matthew Ridden and Jack Bowen also make up the men’s team. 

Wallace State’s men advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Championship on May 13-17 in Tucson, Ariz.

Wallace State’s women’s tennis team is also heading to nationals after finishing conference runner-up. The Lady Lions navigated through the regular season with an undefeated clip against ACCC foes and racked up enough points in the tournament to keep their season alive as the runner-up. 

Crissy Cruz won her singles match for Wallace State, and the Lady Lions had a pair of doubles duos advance to the finals.

Cruz, Nicole Barron, Mary Ann Wolfe, Emily Perry, Haley Putman and Kailee Upchurch competed for Wallace State.

“Our women have achieved great things this season, and we believed we had a chance to win the women’s tournament as well. Give credit to Central Alabama. They outplayed us over the weekend,” Franklin said.

The Lady Lions continue the season at the NJCAA Division I Women’s Championship on May 5-10 in Tyler, Texas.

Maggie Taylor and Martha Lucas also make up the women’s roster.

For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu or the athletics Facebook page at www.wallacestate.edu/athleticsfb.

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