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WRITING

A New Era for Clemson Women's Tennis: Christy Lynch

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Clemson Athletics Photo by Kelsey Hagan

This article appeared in the September 2020 Edition of Orange: The Experience Magazine

A new era is on the horizon for the Clemson women’s tennis program as it named its new head coach, Christy Striplin Lynch in July. Lynch brings a wealth of knowledge to the position as an outstanding player and coach at Georgia Tech, one of the nation’s top collegiate tennis programs. Just the fourth head coach in Tiger history, Lynch succeeds 23-year veteran Nancy Harris who retired from coaching following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.

 

“I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to lead this program and build off of Coach Nancy Harris’ legacy,” said Lynch. “Clemson has such a rich tradition of success and the support for the student-athletes, it is tremendous. I am looking forward to getting to work with the team in addition to working alongside coach Robbie Weiss and the entire Clemson tennis staff. My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Clemson Family.”

 

Native to Birmingham, Ala., Lynch found the love for the game at an early age, starting in the sport at the age of eight. The Striplin family is a tennis family. Her mother, Vanessa, played at Jacksonville State and her brother, Taylor, dawned crimson and white at the University of Alabama. When Lynch and her brother were growing up, they would spend their free time down at the local tennis court.

 

“I grew up in a neighborhood that had tennis courts and I could walk to them after school. My brother and I picked up the sport when were really young and it was just something we did for fun after school together. My first coach, Derek Tarr, who was a top-100 ATP Tour player got me started in tennis, and I never looked back. I loved it right away, instantly.”

 

In the fall of 2005, Lynch enrolled at Georgia Tech, where she proved to be standout athlete. Lynch, then just Christy Striplin, was ranked as high as No. 25 in the country during her four seasons at Georgia Tech and finished her career at No. 42. Her 117 singles victories are the second most in Yellow Jackets history and her .762 career winning percentage is the fourth best in the program. Additionally, Lynch helped her team earn back-to-back ITA Indoor National Championships in 2007 and 2008 as well as the program’s first-ever National Championship in 2007. During their banner season, Georgia Tech went 24-4 while Lynch notched 35 singles wins.

 

Following her graduation in 2009 and a year on the WTA tour, Lynch went on to work at Wellbridge Inc. Athletic Club Northeast before signing on at as volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater in the spring of 2013.

 

“After I graduated, I set a goal to give it a shot on the pro tour and I travel to some tournament throughout the year. What I missed most was that team environment that I had in college. It’s really tough out there on your own, traveling week in and week out. It’s a special opportunity that college tennis provides. For me personally I felt that my calling was in coaching and helping others. I really enjoyed being on the court and working with players and helping them. I really felt that, that was something I wanted to pursue.”

 

In the fall of 2013, Lynch landed her first assistant coaching job at Emory University, a NCAA Division III institution in Atlanta, Ga. In her lone season at Emory, the Eagles achieved 28-2 marks, a program record, and earned its sixth NCAA Division III National Championship, their first since 2006.

 

Lynch rejoined the coaching staff at Georgia Tech in 2014, this time as a full-time assistant coach. The Yellow Jackets reached the NCAA Tournament in each of Lynch’s six seasons with the program, including a three Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2016, 2017 and 2019 and a Final Four run in 2018. Recruiting was a top priority for Lynch while at Georgia Tech as she helped to bring in three-consecutive top-10 recruiting classes from 2016-18. In 2017, Lynch was named the Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the year and in 2018 was promoted to the Yellow Jackets’ Associate Head Coach.

 

Throughout her coaching career, Lynch has worked with some of the nation’s best athletes, including five All-Americans and the 2014 Division III Singles National Champion in Gabrielle Clark.

 

“More than anything, I love the process that it takes to win. The daily work of training and discipline and hard work that it takes to achieve that. I’m really passionate about the game and developing young women into the best tennis players and the best people that they can be on and off the court.”

 

Now, as the Tigers’ head coach, Lynch looks to make an impactful impression in her first season at the helm of the program. With all but two players returning from last season’s squad and four newcomers to the program, Lynch is excited to get to work.

 

“We have a very young team. Four of our girls last season, as freshmen, didn’t get a full season. We have one senior and one fifth year. I see that as a positive. I’m really looking to mold the team and create a good championship culture here at Clemson while building off of Coach Nancy Harris’ legacy.”

Schroeder Downs No. 22 Alana Smith as Tigers Split Decisions on Sunday

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Clemson Athletics Photo by Tanner Hall. Edited by Kelsey Hagan.

For published story click here.

Clemson, S.C.  --  The Clemson women's tennis team split decisions on Sunday afternoon, falling first to NC State, 4-3, then rallying to defeat Troy, 7-0. The Tigers are now 12-7 on the season and drop to 1-5 in ACC play. Additionally, senior Tate Schroeder earned her second top-25 win this season after defeating No. 22 Alana Smith of NC State.

"I am incredibly proud of our Tigers today and their efforts," said Clemson Head Coach Nancy Harris. "They continue to fight for every point. Our grueling schedule would discourage most teams but this team, because of their strong character and great desire to win, continue to get better and better. We have faced five of the nation's top ten teams in the last three weeks and it is definitely the most rigorous schedule that we have faced in my tenure at Clemson. I salute their effort and encourage them to keep on fighting as they have demonstrated that they can compete with best in the country."

NC State 4, Clemson 3

Box Score

The Wolfpack claimed the doubles point after winning courts one and three. In singles Clemson dropped its first two matches to put NC State up 3-0. However, Eleni Louka earned a point for the Tigers with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Adriana Reami before the Wolfpack clinched the match on court six at 4-1. On court one, Tate Schroeder picked up her second top-25 victory in over a week after defeating No. 22 Alana Smith, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 . Freshman Ali DeSpain also notched a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-6), 10-7 win over Lexi Keberle at line five.

Clemson 7, Troy 0

Box Score

After clinching the doubles point, 2-0, the Tigers went on to win all six singles matches to defeat Troy 7-0. Sydney Riley secured the first singles victory of the match for the Tigers, winning 6-1, 6-0 at line four. Middlebrooks followed closely behind with a win over Anastasiia Khokhlova and Louka earned her second win of the day at line three after defeating Chunxi Guo, 6-1, 6-4 to clinch the match for the Tigers.

Of Note:

  • Sydney Riley's winning streak was snapped at 13 matches during the Tigers' match against NC State.

  • Laura Marti is now on an eight-match winning streak while Eleni Louka has won five-straight.

  • Clemson earns its eighth-straight program win over Troy.

Up Next: 

The Tigers are back on the road this weekend for a pair of matches against No. 11 Duke and Elon.

For complete coverage of the Clemson men's tennis team, follow @ClemsonWTennis on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Men's Tennis Earns First Top-50 Ranking Since 2015

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Clemson Athletics Photo by Lawton Hilliard. Edited by Kelsey Hagan.

For published story click here.

Clemson, S.C. -- The Clemson men's tennis team has been ranked No. 45 in the country, as announced by ITA on Monday night. It marks the first time since Jan. 7, 2016 that the Tigers have earned a ranking by the ITA and the first time since Feb. 17, 2015 that they have been tabbed within the top-50. For the full release from the ITA click here.

So far this season, Clemson is 6-2. Most recently, the Tigers took down Princeton and Georgia State in a pair of 4-3 nail-biters. Earlier this season, Clemson fell in another down-to-the-wire match against Auburn, which makes its first appearance on the rankings list this season at No. 44.

The Tigers are set to open ACC action this weekend when they host No. 33 Miami. The match will take place on Friday at 6 p.m. at The Duckworth Family Tennis Facility.

For complete coverage of the Clemson men's tennis team, follow @ClemsonMTennis on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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