HSU head tennis coach Shane Williford and his Cowboys are still flying high after they claimed the American Southwest Conference championship in Austin.

The title is the first for the men since 2007.

Shane Williford said, “We’ve gotten a lot of second places in those fifteen years, but really, this season was a culmanation of these seniors who have been here for the last four years and all of the hard work they put into it. It was almost more relief.”

One of the second place finishes Williford is talking about came last year to Concordia, when the Cowboys were expected to win the ASC.

The fact that they beat Concordia for the championship, this time around, was not lost on the players.

Desmond O’Shea said, “All the guys, we worked over the offseason. This was something that we wanted to achieve. We envisioned it last year and came up short, but this year, it was nice to get revenge and came out on top.”

And even though Williford doesn’t play in any of the matches, the players know how important he is to their success, so they made sure he was part of the celebration.

Alex Pavkovich said, “I ran over to get coach Williford because without him we wouldn’t be in this position, at all. He might be the coach, but he’s very much apart of our group, and we wanted him to be apart of that.”

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is next for the Cowboys.

They are a new opponent for HSU, but the coaches have known each other for a long time.

Williford added, “Their coach is a real good friend of mine. We’ve been competing against each other for 22 years. I’m excited to go see him. I’m excited to see how we match up against one of the best teams in the country. We are fired up!”

HSU and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps meet in the second round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend.