The Tennis Club at UT is only two years old but it already consists of 30 active members who know how to have fun while still being fiercely competitive. The club gives students here at UT the chance to become more involved on campus, but at the same time compete with a team that participates in meets with other highly ranked colleges.
The Spartan Tennis Club is looking to expand next semester by holding tryouts for the competitive team for the first time.
The club currently practices three nights a week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 to 8 pm. During this time, the team divides into two groups, recreational and competitive, to keep matches fair based on each player’s skill level. Aside from practicing during this time, competitive players often help to coach recreational players sharpen their skills by showcasing their talent and helping to focus on the basic fundamentals.
Recreational players often come out only for practice during the week, but UT’s competitive team has become nationally recognized by joining the USTA Tennis on Campus Florida Section, and now competes in tournaments against major schools like UF, USF and UCF. One might think that a coach or advisor helps plan out all of the details that go along with scheduling meets and practices, but in actuality it is a few select students.
The members of the team’s board are actually the ones who are behind the growth and expansion of this young team. “Board positions are meant to figure out who can handle the responsibility of the team and also break up the duties,” said club president Derek Flores.
The club tennis team has also given a sense of stability and belonging for some of its players. Freshman David Kosman is one of these players.
The team has not only gave him the chance to do something he loves, but also make friends.
“Being a freshman, it’s hard to make friends out of your own little bubble here at UT, but everyone on the team was really inviting and I really enjoyed it.”
Next semester, the club is planning to implement a more concrete athletic environment by holding tryouts for the first time.
The plan behind this is to build on the club’s existing competitive team for students who are serious about competing at the collegiate level. Next semester the club will have the two teams, competitive and recreational, practice on different nights.
Recreational players will still be instructed by students on the competitive team, but starting next semester competitive players who choose to help instruct will have incentive: their club dues paid in full.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the club tennis team next semester you can visit their club Facebook page to learn more information. The team will be attending a tournament at Hillsborough Community College on March 21 and 22.
This semester, the team will also be hosting their very first annual Spartan Open, which will be open to schools across the nation with players ranging from a number of different states, such as California and Wisconsin.
Melissa Torre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org