The Golden Eagles traveled to Cayce, South Carolina, over the weekend hungry to win their first championship. The Golden Eagles have been runners up in each of the past three years in the conference tournament, so they know what defeat feels like. The team was not looking to feel that for a fourth straight year so they buckled down and hit DePaul right where it hurts.
DePaul started off by squeaking out the doubles point winning the third match by a slim margin. Once it got to singles play though, oh man, the Golden Eagles were alive and ready. Sophomore Brandon Shanklin, returned to the lineup in this tournament for the first time since March and did not disappoint. He won his match quickly 6-2, 6-4, and tied the score up for the Golden Eagles. Marquette then moved to a 3-1 lead as Luke Smrek and Greg Anderson both clinched their matches. Once those matches were won, players, coaches and fans could smell a championship in the air. Marquette then clinched the championship with a win from Alvaro Verdu as he won 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. The last point featured the ball flying out of bounds and the Golden Eagles rushed the court, hugging and cheering in excitement.
Lone senior, Scott Christian, received the trophy as he has been a part of the three finals losses the previous years. Alvaro Verdu was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
The team now waits to hear where they will head for the first NCAA tournament appearance in program history. They find out on Tuesday, May 1, at 4:30 pm Central, via a broadcast on NCAA.com. They will have a viewing party in the Annex starting at 4pm if you wanna go hang out with the champs.