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Tennis On Campus Spotlight: Northeastern University

To start off the New Year right, each month the USTA Tennis On Campus program will be featuring a different TOC Club Tennis Team that is active on their campus. This month the Tennis On Campus program spoke with Northeastern University Club Tennis Team’s Ashley Equi for our first ever TOC Spotlight!

Last year, the Northeastern University Club Tennis Team, along with the Boston College Club Tennis Team, organized a "Midnight Madness" tennis tournament that raised more $10,000. On November 13th, 2010 the teams  hosted their second annual “Midnight Madness” Tournament in the hopes of surpassing the amount of money raised the previous year. Here is what Northeastern University had to say about their second event and club tennis team:

Northeastern Midnight Madness Cake (300) Northeastern Midnight Madness Club Participants (300)
Check out the cake from the 2010 Midnight Madness:
Because Tennis for Charity is Baller!
Two Boston College TOC Participants have a ball playing
tennis and enjoying the cake at the 2010 Midnight Madness.

TOC: What has been your team’s favorite Tennis On Campus moment this year?
NU: Our team’s favorite Tennis On Campus moment this year was playing “Around the World” on Louis Armstrong Stadium at the Battle of the Sections Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, home of the US Open, this past September. Playing in a stadium that size was an amazing experience that all of our players were extremely excited about and it gave us a tiny taste of what playing a professional match might be like!

TOC: If you could add one professional player to your team’s roster, who would it be?
NU: Our team would definitely choose John McEnroe because not only would he increase the talent level on our team but he would always keep things interesting and entertaining. While we love to do as well as we can at each tournament, a major goal for us is to also have fun and he’d fit right in. In addition, his experience would help all of our other players – especially his ability to assess the positive and negative aspects of everyone’s game.

TOC: What was your team’s funniest Tennis On Campus moment?
NU: While leaving the courts at the USTA National Campus Championship in Surprise, Arizona to get food between matches, our team decided to do a Chinese fire drill at a red light. One of our players had some trouble when the light started to turn and she tripped over her own feet to crash into the pavement. She was not hurt, thankfully, but many other teams were there to witness her clumsiness too – which made it that much funnier (she thought it was hilarious as well).

TOC: What tournament or dual match are you looking forward to most this upcoming spring semester and why?
NU: Among other matches that are in the process of being scheduled, we hope to accept a bid to Nationals this year in Cary, North Carolina. We have gone the past three years and find it to be the most exciting event of the year. We try to schedule matches every weekend prior to the tournament to prepare.

TOC: Your club membership numbers have continued to rise each year - how do you promote your club on campus?
NU: In the past few years, we’ve made sure our team website is easy to locate and has all of our information clearly displayed for prospective players. We put up flyers around campus to advertise the team and let them know of our informational meetings which we hold every semester for any students that are interested in trying out.

TOC: What is the “Midnight Madness” tournament and why do you think it has been so successful?
NU: Midnight Madness is an overnight event that brings together college club tennis players from the USTA New England Section in the name of charity. Students obtain sponsors to raise money for the Midnight Madness Scholarship Fund and play tennis from 10pm until 4am. The Midnight Madness Scholarship Fund was set up with the help of USTA New England and the Youth Tennis Foundation of New England for talented junior USTA players to apply for financial aid to further their tennis careers to the college level. It has been so successful because it is such a unique event and everyone gets to play with and meet new players from other schools in a noncompetitive atmosphere. Being part of a collaborative effort to raise money for a tennis-related cause is a bonding experience (especially at those early hours) and everyone has a great time!

TOC: What’s your team’s favorite part of hosting the Midnight Madness tournament?
NU: Instead of competing against players from other teams, it is great to play with the players from other clubs. The social aspect of the event differentiates this from other events. Players are encouraged to meet and play with players from different clubs and enjoy the night in a noncompetitive environment.

TOC: How has this tournament grown from last year to this year?
NU: We took major steps this year in the tournament. This year we created our own charity (Midnight Madness Scholarship Fund) instead of choosing a new one. Midnight Madness hopes to continue to benefit this charity every year. We also increased the number of people involved. Last year we raised around $12,000; we do not have this year’s number but we hope it to be at least that much, and maybe more.

TOC: What is your team planning to do in the community for the spring semester?
NU: Next semester our team is planning on getting involved with a local non-profit called ACEing Autism. It is a program held at the Weymouth Club that brings together children with autism and community members on a weekly basis to give the children a way to both improve their tennis and social skills.

Northeastern University Midnight Madness (300)
Midnight Madness participants from Northeastern and
Boston College play tennis for charity.