By John Powell, Asst. Sports Editor

So I’m back in Norfolk, Va. this weekend. Oddly enough, this was the same location for the women’s tennis championships. I thought I saw more cars than usual around the tennis courts.

Unfortunately, the No. 8 George Mason University women’s tennis team was knocked out of the running for the championship in the first round after a 4-2 loss to No. 9 Drexel in the first round on Thursday. The team was probably expecting the same result as their last match against the Drexel Dragons. The teams played each other just over a week ago and Mason took the match by a final score of 5-1.

There were a few diamonds among the rough, though. The most significant in my mind is that sophomore Brooke Blackwell has extended her winning streak to 19 straight matches, a streak she hopes to continue to next season.

The second is that Mason tallied 21 wins in the season, with nine losses. Although this only gave them the eighth seed in the championship tournament, the 21 wins set the record for the most wins the team has ever had.

The final diamond is that two players were named all-conference. Former Broadside Player of the Week junior Lindsay Gray earned All-Colonial Athletic Association Third Team honors for her doubles play during the season.

In addition, Kiersten Pappas, the team’s freshman sensation and top singles player, won All-CAA honors for her play in singles and doubles during the season. Assuming their skills keep progressing, the record-breaking women’s tennis team will have not one, but two players to anchor the team next year.

Head Coach Steve Curtis referred to this year as a “springboard” for next season. I sure hope he’s right, and assume he is basing his assessment on the progress the team has made this season.

The tennis team lost to Drexel 5-0 on Thursday. Déjà Vu? Yes, but this time I’m referring to the men’s tennis team. In their championship series, the No. 9 Patriots (out of 10 teams instead of 12 in the women’s series) lost to the No. 8 Drexel Dragons.

Two matches were not even played to completion, because the Dragons had already won the points necessary to advance. Some matches were in favor of the Patriots when the day was called; however, there weren’t enough wins to keep the day going.

The team finished with a 10-15 overall record. No player has made all-conference honors. Maybe they can turn the poor turnout around next year like the women’s team. Only time will tell at this point.

From the women’s soccer team’s turnaround year to the women’s tennis team’s year, things seem to be looking better for the women’s sports at Mason. Not to forget, the women’s volleyball team went from one of the cellar teams to a CAA champion last year. I certainly hope the trend can continue.