In April, the UTC Club Tennis team heads for a whole new experience.
“This is a huge step not just for club tennis but for club sports at UTC as a whole,” says Nathan Brown, captain of the men’s team.
“Very few teams have qualified for national tournaments, so this puts us in a very exclusive group amongst UTC club sports. We have also become just the second club tennis team from Tennessee to qualify for the national tournament, other than UT-Knoxville last year.”
From April 12-14, the team will be in Orlando, Fla., competing with 63 other teams from around the country. The club’s “A” Team — male and female players with the highest skill level among the more than 50 members in the club — has compiled a 22-10 record this season, which runs from September through April.
For the championships, board members of the United States Tennis Association select one club from each region based off their results at tournaments, community involvement and membership growth.
Brown says he and women’s captain Taylor Bounds both joined club tennis when they were freshmen. It was a different experience than today.
“Taylor and I joined the team not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into,” he says. “We both knew we didn’t want to pursue varsity tennis in college because of the time commitment but didn’t want to give the sport up either.
“When we joined club tennis, there were just seven people on the team. We went to about three tournaments the whole year and struggled to win a single match at any of them.”
Bounds says club tennis “has been a huge part of my college experience.”
“I have met so many people and gotten the chance to travel and play places that I wouldn’t have thought of.”