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Arizona Campus Crew

By: KRISTEN DALEY

Arizona Campus Crew - Cheering
The Arizona Campus Crew cheered the US Fed Cup Team to
victory in February.  Some members of the crew then
competed at the same venue, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet
Complex, during the 2009 USTA National Campus
Championship.
At the Fed Cup quarterfinal tie in February, the U.S. squad had the crowd behind them, loud and clear.

As the team took on Argentina at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Facility, host site of the 2009 USTA National Campus Championship, a large, excited—and very vocal—group of tennis-playing Arizona college students, known as the Arizona Campus Crew, was cheering them on to victory.

The idea for the Arizona Campus Crew cheering section at a Fed Cup tie was inspired by the “NetHeads,” a well-known group that travels to all Davis Cup home ties with the support of the USTA. “The USTA is really focused right now on integrating the professional and community tennis divisions to form a more cohesive unit in promoting the game of tennis across all formats,” says Andrew Labovitz, Publicity Associate for USTA Communications.

For the quarterfinal tie against Argentina, the USTA reached out to Tennis On Campus participants with the University of Arizona Club Tennis Team and Arizona State University Club Tennis Team. Close to 20 players made the trip. “Once they said they were willing to come, we gave them free tickets and parking passes,” says Labovitz.

He also equipped the players with T-shirts, drums and other noisemakers, the same used by the NetHeads. The Arizona Campus Crew took it from there.

Arizona Campus Crew - Posing
Members of the Arizona Campus Crew take a break from
cheering to pose for a group shot.
The group brainstormed cheers and chants just before the start of play on Saturday, where they watched U.S. team members Jill Crayabas and Melanie Oudin. “The crowd started getting into it and cheering with us,” says Evan Smith, ASU Club Tennis Team president. “It was kind of cool to see all the cheering, because you don’t normally see that at tennis matches.”

“They were good spirit leaders in that sense,” says Labovitz.

“We were most definitely the USA cheering squad,” says U of A Club Tennis Team president Meghan Houk. “It was also really exciting in between matches when we would be walking around the tennis facility and spectators would constantly come up to us and tell us how awesome they thought it was that we were doing this, and to keep up the great work.”

“They were enthusiastic, they were rowdy,” says Labovitz. “I thought they were great.”

Great enough, in fact, for the USTA to consider hosting more college student and community cheering squads at future Fed Cup home ties. The USTA also hopes to continue offering discounted tickets to high school and college students, which they did in Phoenix.

What’s more, the competitive spirit amongst the pros at Fed Cup further fueled the competitive fire for the U of A and ASU teams, who arranged for matches soon after the tie, and recently competed against each at the USTA Campus Championship - Southwest where ASU earned an automatic berth into the 2009 USTA National Campus Championship.

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Don't miss the US Davis Cup Team taking on Croatia in Porec, Croatia - July 10-12 (TV Schedule)
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For more information on:

    • Arizona State Club Tennis Team

    • University of Arizona Club Tennis Team

    • United States Fed Cup Team

    • United States Davis Cup Team

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