The Club Tennis Team finished up their season by hosting the first ever Spartan Open last weekend at Hillsborough Community College. This tournament was a trial for the team to prove to United States Tennis Association (USTA for short) that next year they can handle running an official tournament.
Freshman Christian Maldonado stood out this meet, competing in his first ever tournament with the team.
Maldonado had expressed interest in playing with the team all season, and competed last weekend on the club’s A team in his UT debut.
“He had one tough match that he really grinded through, and he did phenomenal,”sophomore Scotty Hilliard said.
Overall, both the club’s A and B teams did very well, with the B team making it further in the tournament. Both teams made it to the semifinals of the gold bracket where the A team lost, and the B team lost in the finals of the gold bracket. “It was a good end to the season, and going into next year I think we’re only going to improve and do better next year,” said freshman treasurer David Kosman.
Unfortunately, the club’s season ended after their meet in Orlando because they did not place within the top three to qualify for nationals in California. However, the team did place within the top ten during this meet, playing against major Division I schools such as University of Florida and Florida State University.
Looking toward next season, the team is aiming to become more competitive and involved on campus.
The team is hoping to reach this goal by implementing recruitment officers who will table for the club in Vaughn lobby and share with interested students information about the team.
The team is also planning on fundraising next semester to help support and lower the costs of competing in some of their tournaments that they attend through out the year, which can range from $500 to $600 per tournament.
Next season, the team is also holding tryouts for the A team for the first time ever.
“We want to become more competitive because we definitely have the potential,” Hilliard said.
With the club ending its second season, they are looking to grow and expand for next year.
By holding tryouts, the team will not only be able to build a more competitive team, but they will also be able to take a step closer to their overall goal of being able to compete in the national tournament.
The club has proved that they have come a long way since they began only two short years ago, and are looking to take it to the next level and only keep improving in the future.
Melissa Torre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.