Vying for the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship Title

  • By Crews Enochs
  • April 27, 2013
  • Comments Off on Vying for the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship Title

By Sarah Houseknecht and United States Tennis Association  |  April 24, 2013

Congratulations to first time champions, The University of Georgia Bulldogs.

 

After months of intramural and club tennis matches between 35,000 college students from over 600, the season culminated with the 2013 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in Surprise, Arizona. Tennis On Campus program gives college students the opportunity to build leadership skills, network in a coed sports environment and compete on a college team without the rigors of playing in a varsity program. With year-round match play, and regional and national championship competition, students maintain active and healthy lifestyles through their college years. From April 11-13, 64 teams played in the National Championship using the World TeamTennis format, all competing for one of the coveted sixteen slots that could lead them into one of the final four Gold Bracket.

Among the teams vying for the Gold Bracket, the Tennis On Campus National Championship welcomed seven first-timers. Among them, San Diego State University earned extra bragging rights as their club earned a national bid in their flagship year as a campus club. USTA National Tennis On Campus Manager, Glenn Arrington, was enthusiastic about first-time and veteran participants. He said, “USTA Tennis On Campus is a fantastic opportunity for kids to enjoy recreational tennis in a highly fun and highly competitive setting.”

After a first day jam-packed with tournaments between all 64 teams, April 12 began afresh. Based on the outcomes of the day before, teams were placed into Silver, Bronze and Copper brackets where they continued to compete in rousing games within their respective brackets. The overall top 16 teams continued to set their sights on making it into the final four. By day’s end, the following teams were still in the hunt for the Title:

  • University of Georgia – Advanced over: University of Oklahoma (30-13) and University of California – Berkeley (21-20)
  • University of California – Los Angeles – Advanced over: Cornell University (23-21) and University of Central Florida (26-20)
  • University of Michigan – Advanced over: Stanford University (25-17) and University of Arizona (26-17)
  • University Florida – Advanced over: Baylor University (29-20) and University of Virginia (22-21)

Having earned the 2012 National Championship Title, the University of California – Berkeley appeared to be on the road to another victory, but hit a speed bump when they faced the University of Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs have made it to Nationals several times, but have never finished higher than fifth place.

After their narrow win, Bulldog team co-captain Scott Slezak said, “we were just happy to be here playing the best team in the country. I told the team to have fun and we have nothing to lose. We knew if we gave it our all we were good enough to get the job done.” With their slim 21-20 victory over the defending champions, they advanced into the Final Four. While this guaranteed at least a fourth place finish in the 2013 Tennis On Campus Nationals, they had their eyes on the top prize. On Saturday April 13, the Bulldogs defeated the University of Florida 26-24 in the championship match.

The University of Georgia Bulldogs Championship title is extra sweet not only because of it being their first time win, but also because of the quality of skill and sportsmanship at this year’s event. Glenn Arrington said, “This year’s field was stronger than ever and the Bulldogs should be so proud of their first Championship; it’s one they definitely won’t forget.

Riding the high of the championship match, the Awards Ceremony honored USTA Tennis On Campus Club of the Year, NorthDakota State University for its exemplary dedication to the sport of tennis and community service initiatives. The Leader of the Year Award was also presented to Michael Lynch of the University of Illinois for his outstanding commitment to his teammates and campus community over the past four years.

As Michael prepares to graduate—like many Tennis On Campus alumni—he knows that tennis will continue to be a part of his post-college livelihood. The USTA is setting up an Alumni Tennis After Campus Task Force (ATAC) to review and recommend opportunities for Tennis On Campus alumni to continue to participate in organized tennis programs or events after they leave college.

 

Source: NIRSA

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