Bulldog men’s tennis stand-out Henry Patten finished his remarkable regular season last week when he defeated Liberty’s Chase Burton in straight sets, with friends and family back in the United Kingdom following the match via Twitter and cheering him on. Patten finishes the season with an undefeated 19-0 record in singles play. With his victory, Patten is now the only Bulldog to ever achieve an undefeated season at No. 1 singles in the history of the program.
“I knew that if I played well I could obviously have a good run this season, but I never expected to go undefeated,” Patten said after the victory. “I honestly never thought about the undefeated factor until this match. I took it one match at a time and it paid off in the long run.” He gave all the credit to his teammates and Coach Tom Hand for their support throughout the season.
The sophomore tennis player has been extremely impressive in his performances this season, earning himself Big South Men’s Tennis Player of the Year, and is now nationally ranked 118th by the Oracle/ITA Division I Collegiate Rankings. He also was named to the All-Academic Team, and earned first-team all-conference honors in both singles and doubles. Earlier in the season he earned back-to-back Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Week for matches played Jan. 23-29 as well as Feb. 27-March 6. Patten topped the No. 102 ranked singles player at the time, Scott Webster of Appalachian State, earlier this season. Patten also defeated the No. 66 ranked singles player at the time, Eduardo Mena of Tennessee Tech. He leads the Big South Conference standings at the No. 1 singles slot and won every match but one in straight sets.
Patten and his team will now look forward to competing in the 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championships, which will be held in Winston-Salem, N.C. on April 19-21. The Bulldogs have earned a No. 7 seed and will face No. 2 ranked Gardner-Webb.