The CSM Club Tennis Team competed in the USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational in South Carolina over the weekend of October 9 through 11. They were one of 48 tennis teams invited to compete. The tournament opened up the season for Tennis On Campus. Different teams of either co-ed intramural or club tennis teams from across the country came to compete.
Over 35,000 students from 600 college campuses across the nation participate in the USTA Tennis On Campus program which began in 2000. The USTA Tennis On Campus program allows students of any level to be active year-round and build community skills without having the stresses of playing on a varsity team.
At the Invitational, Colorado School of Mines won the Copper Bracket and placed 22nd overall. The CSM Club Tennis team will continue competing throughout the school year aiming to advance to the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in April.
“We’ve gone every year I’ve been here and it’s basically because we do fairly well, and they keep inviting us back. We usually send eight people based on the roster,” says junior Faith Oehlerking. Not only did the team compete in the tournament, they also enjoyed team-bonding on the beach.
“We’re right on the beach, so right after the tournament we can go on the beach and swim,” says Oehlerking.
Since the team competes year-round, they have had a few tournaments already this semester.
“We’ve had three tournaments. One was at UNC, and there was one double header at Laramie against the University of Wyoming,” explains Oehlerking. Through these tournaments the team has been able to get to know themselves better.
“I think we definitely could improve. It’s hard because we do have a coach, but practices could be more competitive. We have a lot of people that have never played before, so especially in the fall season that can hinder the team a lot because you don’t know the people you’re playing with very well,” says Oehlerking.
“We have practices four times a week for about two to three hours while the sun is still up. Players can choose which ones they come to. Now that it’s getting darker, we only have practice on Sundays,” explains Oehlerking. The team is looking forward to more tournaments in the coming semester.
“We have more tournaments in the spring. Once spring sememster starts, we’ll be practicing inside,” states Oehlerking. “In the winter, we’ll have a tournament in Steamboat, one in Salt Lake City, and one in Arizona.”
In the last few years the team has done well with these tournaments.
“In the past we’ve done fairly well in the Salt Lake City tournmaent. Because there are a lot less schools there, we have a lot better chance of winning. CU was the only team we lost to last year, and they’re our only real threat,” explains Oehlerking. “At the Arizona tournament we actually did really well and made it to the gold tournament. We’re actually looking at a good comeback this year as long as we get some good practice in beforehand.”