Club tennis up for a challenge

The College’s club tennis team participated in the United States Tennis Association National Campus Championship in Cary, N.C., last week.

The tournament was held April 26-28 and featured 64 teams throughout the nation. Competition featured singles, doubles and mixed-doubles play, using the World Team Tennis format.

Several Division I schools participated and had teams that play at an extremely high level. “Some of these players could have been on a varsity team,” team captain Adam Mamawala said.

On Thursday, the College faced off against Simon Fraser University (a school in British Columbia), University of Michigan and Clemson University in the bracket qualifying rounds. The Lions lost tight matches to Simon Fraser and Michigan but beat Clemson, placing into the bronze category.

“You could just see our improvement within the first day,” Mamawala said. “It’s good to see that progression from one match to the next.”

In the bronze pool, the College defeated Portland State University 23-19 but was then defeated by Villanova University 25-18 to fall out of contention for the bronze title.

“To be completely honest, it’s more of an expectation of getting experience,” Mamawala said. “There are going to be a lot of teams that are extremely talented. A lot of teams can compete with varsity teams across the nation.”

Club sports are an intermediate level between intramural and varsity teams. The club tennis national tournament was created in 1999 and the College has been a participant three times, including this year.

The Lions are part of the Middle States region, which includes teams from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.

Now ranked No. 39 in the nation, the Lions went 4-0 last semester.

Without a coach, president, captain and co-founder Elyse Tanner and Mamawala hold practices during the semester and are the leaders of the team.

“This year we have a much stronger team than in past years,” Tanner said. “I do believe we have a lot of team spirit and a lot of practices under our belts.”