Schley, Layton Compete at ITA Regionals
Two Asbury men’s tennis players had the opportunity to do something never before done by someone from Asbury, play in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regional Tournament this past weekend. A pair of freshman, Nathan Schley (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Scott Layton (Wilmore, Ky.) competed in singles and doubles in Owensboro against players from other NAIA schools in Kentucky and Tennessee.
“There were a lot of unknown factors coming into this tournament since it was our first time coming to it and both players freshmen,” Coach Jarred Miller said. “I think both of the boys learned a lot about themselves and what they can expect playing in the NAIA.”
In singles play, Schely made a remarkable run to the quarterfinals before running out of gas. He won the first match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3 over Zach Thomas of Georgetown and would go on to defeat players from Cumberland (Tenn.) and Tennessee Wesleyan, each in three sets. In the quarterfinals he would be stopped by Carlos Anton, who drew a first round bye, in straight sets 6-0, 6-3. Anton would go on to the finals.
“This past weekend was a great opportunity to see and play against the best players in our region, players I wouldn’t normally get to play against,” said Schley. “Playing in the tournament will hopefully draw more attention to our program and show that the team will be a serious contender in future tournaments.”
Layton found his own success in singles, albeit after a first round loss that dropped him from the main draw. Ben Aspillaga from Georgetown took the first round win in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(9). After that Layton rebounded to win twice in the consolation bracket, defeating Bret Wade from Tennessee Wesleyan 8-0 before taking down Kristian Takac from Bethel (Tenn.) 8-2. In his fourth match Layton would fall to another Georgetown player, Gustavo Echeverria 8-2.
“Going to ITA Regionals was a great way to be introduced to the work ethic that needs to be established to succeed in college athletics,” said Layton. “It allowed us to determine what areas we need to improve in, as a player and as a team, to accomplish our goals. I think it was a step in the right direction for our program, getting Asbury's name out there and representing our school well with good attitudes, sportsmanship and on court success.”
In doubles, Schely and Layton drew a tough match against a team from Lindsey Wilson and were dropped in the first round after a hard fought 9-8(5) defeat. In three team matches this season Schley and Layton are both 3-0 in singles and are 3-0 as a team in doubles. They also took the number one doubles title at the Centre College invitational as a team while Schley was runner-up in number one singles and Layton won number two singles.
Asbury has two more matches scheduled for the fall, both on Saturday at Georgetown College. The Eagles will take on Georgetown at 9:00 a.m. before battling NCAA Division II Southern Indiana at 1:00 p.m.