Tennis player advances to nationals, makes school history in the process


Courtesy of St. Edward's Athletics Communications

Chase Bartlett is going to the ITA National Championship.

Junior tennis player Chase Bartlett is headed to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Cup National Fall Championships after securing the ITA South Central Regional Singles title – the first earned title of this category in St. Edward’s University history.

In the main draw finals, Bartlett faced off against SEU freshman and fellow teammate Anish Sriniketh. In the end, it was Bartlett’s three-year experience that would give him the edge against Sriniketh as he came out victorious with final scores of 6-4, 6-2.

Despite playing against his teammate, Bartlett said that the only thing on his mind was accomplishing the goal he set for himself: earning a spot as one of the eight athletes selected to play in nationals.

“Winning that title, it’s been something that’s evaded me for almost three years now,” Bartlett said. “I go out there and compete with respect, whether or not you’re my teammate.”

Being the first name etched into the record book for this type of achievement is something that Bartlett said will be a great way for him to lead the program to a bright future.

“Our coach has been working hard to create a great program at St. Ed’s. I can build off all the hard work that Coach Streker has been putting in. Through our successes, we can help to start a movement and eventually make this a national championship program,” Bartlett said.

Strecker said that Bartlett certainly has the ability to succeed in nationals and see this process as a great learning experience for the rest of the program.

“Being the first, his name is forever going to be in the record books. One of the conversations we had as a group was unfortunately only one can win every tennis tournament, but his success should boost the confidence of everyone on the team,” Strecker said. “I’m happy because he gets exposed to the absolute highest level of tennis in division two.”

Bartlett will be the only player from the South Central Region to be competing in the finals accompanied by seven other top-talent players from around the nation. With that said, there certainly is the daunting challenge of actually facing off other elite athletes.

“I think Chase has the capacity and the capability of going there and winning every match he plays,” Strecker said. “But I also think it’s going to take a whole new level of effort, focus, engagement and passion.”

Bartlett knows the challenging task at hand but believes in his ability to perform and make every match count.

“It’s going to be an extremely hard challenge playing against the best players in the country,” Bartlett said. “My biggest strengths are my mental game and my physical game. I’m just going to go out there, compete, give my best and not worry about how I do.”

The ITA Cup will be held at the Rome Tennis center in Rome, Georgia, and will go on from October 11-14.