Our Loughborough Students’ Tennis team travelled to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the 2016 Trans-Atlantic Challenge.
This was the second edition of the inter-continental sporting challenge, with Loughborough narrowly beating MIT at Lacrosse in 2015.
Both teams competed in women’s, mixed and men’s matches, all which took place in the JB Carr Tennis Bubble on the world-famous MIT’s campus.
The challenge began with the two teams singing the national anthems, with Loughborough’s Vice Chancellor Bob Allison present on the sidelines.
The first day of competition was the women’s matches. The team got off to an excellent start with Liv Nicholls and Lou Holtum taking their doubles victory, meaning that they have achieved an unbeaten season as a doubles pair. This success was mirrored for the rest of the women’s teams and by the end of the evening, the score was Loughborough Tennis 6 – MIT 0.
The second day of competition saw the mixed doubles matches. Mixed doubles hasn’t often been played by either side in regular competitions, making the cohesion that each pairing had managed to achieve in the short time they’d practiced together significant. However, this did not seem to affect Loughborough, and by the end of the night all four doubles pairings had a clean sweep. This made the score 10-0 to Loughborough, meaning they were the Trans-Atlantic Challenge Champions for 2016, with a day to spare.
It was the men’s matches, and the final night of competition, where MIT really made their mark. The men’s doubles was up first with Loughborough University students’ Ryan Lambert and Gavin McKinlay up against MIT’s Alex Cauneac and Bryan Lilley. MIT bested the Loughborough duo and took the first point for the American side that evening. They also took the second point of the evening in the men’s singles. Loughborough and MIT’s talent really shone throughout the evening with both teams gaining points in the men’s singles matches.
The final score of the 2016 Trans-Atlantic Challenge was Loughborough University 13 – 3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ryan Lambert shared his thoughts on the tour:
I think just the whole experience has been brilliant… Winning the tennis, beating MIT is obviously one highlight, but then you’ve got the experience of Boston and the hospitality we’ve had is brilliant.
Not only does this event mark a sporting connection between both universities, it also cements a relationship with the currently number one ranked University in the QS World University rankings.