This past weekend was a big one for UConn’s club tennis team, as eight members traveled to Harvard University to compete in the Tennis On Campus New England Championships, hosted by the United States Tennis Association.
UConn students Meg Callahan, Christina Cokely, Cam Nick, Angelica Rodriguez, Hayley Sanzone, Jordan Smith, Krishnan Sureschkumar and Adam Velardi competed against students from thirty other schools for a chance to make it to Orlando in April for the Tennis On Campus National Championships.
The competitions followed the World TeamTennis (WTT) format, which plays men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles.
“The top five teams in gold bracket get a bid, and I believe the top team in silver bracket gets a bid to nationals,” team captain and Club Tennis President Marc Lupinacci Jr. said. “Unfortunately, we made it to the gold bracket but didn’t finish in the top five.”
Although UConn came up short of a bid to nationals, there were plenty of bright spots for the Huskies over the weekend. One such shining star was junior Jordan Smith, who acted as team captain in Lupinacci’s absence and won all of his singles matches.
According to Lupinacci, Smith was UConn’s best player in the tournament and could become the team captain next year.
Another bright spot for the team over the weekend was the success it had with its freshmen players.
“We sent three freshman (to a pretty big tournament),” he said. “That’s how talented our freshman class was.”
While they may not have qualified for a bid this year, UConn still won all of their games on Saturday to advance to the gold bracket while having three freshman play; if these players continue to develop, the team has plenty of reason to be excited and hope to make nationals in the coming years.
Above all else, everyone on the team enjoyed themselves and had fun interacting with fellow tennis players from a bunch of different New England schools, Lupinacci said
“The team had an amazing time, they all said they had one of the greatest times they’ve had on the team,” he said.
Besides finishing in the top five in the gold bracket or top of the silver bracket, another way to get a bid to nationals is to be voted Club of the Year by the USTA. The winner of this award will be announced early 2018, so hope is not yet lost for the UConn Huskies Club Tennis team.
Zac Lane is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.