November 7, 2011

Tennis Coach Continues to Excel

SAINT LEO, Fla. - A team will go nowhere unless certain individuals step up to the plate and lead a group; that is why successful teams have coaches to guide players in the mental and physical aspects of the game, whichever game that may be. Having a qualified coach who is an expert at their sport is essential to each player's growth and development. As Saint Leo continues to exemplify its core value of excellence, it should be said that Lions coaches, in addition to their athletes, continue to better themselves on an everyday basis. A prime example of this is Men's and Women's Tennis head Coach James Bryce, who will enter this upcoming season as a recent national champion tennis player.  

Bryce, who is entering his third year as the Lion's head coach, recently participated in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Championship along with his wife, Erin Bryce. Playing in the Husband-Wife tournament as a nationally unranked pair, the Bryce's defeated Larry Saheim and Renee Tharpe of Peachtree City, Ga. in the final match to win the USTA Gold Ball trophy. The tournament, which took place October 14th-16th, featured a clay court and a Bryce triumph, as the pair ended with a solid three-set win of 6-3, 2-6, and 6-2.

One interesting twist to the Bryces' story, however, is that James and Erin have never before played on the same team. After the win, James said, "Erin and I had a lot of fun competing with each other for the first time. It was great to win a national tournament together with our family around as well."

Beyond coaching the Lions, Coach Bryce has much hope for his future tennis career. When asked about playing again, Bryce said, "We are looking forward to playing many more tournaments in the next year to improve our current ranking of 3 in the nation." Coach Bryce and his Lions tennis team can be caught in action during the upcoming spring semester. 

Story written by softball junior Katie Gwinn.