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Tennis On Campus Spotlight: University of Arizona

UofA Spotlight Photo (300) Fundraising UofA (300)
Participants of the University of Arizona club tennis team after
a practice at the Reffkin Tennis Center, in Tucson, Arizona.
U of A club tennis teammates fundraising for their upcoming
club tennis season by hosting a carwash.

For the second time this year, the USTA Tennis On Campus program is spotlighting a different TOC Club Tennis Team that is active on their campus and in the community. This month we spoke with the University of Arizona Club Tennis Team's Ashley Desmarais for our TOC Spotlight.

The University of Arizona Club Tennis Team attended the USTA National Campus Championship for the first time in 2010, but it is their success on campus that keeps their program thriving. Their club team has formed a strong relationship with the local community and has build a unique support system with the Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Arizona that has made their program a success. Here is what the Wildcats had to say about their program and recent Wildcat Winter Classic tournament.

TOC: What has been your team’s favorite Tennis On Campus moment this year? 
UofA: The Badger Classic was one of our favorite Tennis on Campus moments this year. We loved getting to know players from other clubs and seeing all of the competition that is out there. The people we met were absolutely fantastic and we loved being able to see them in a tennis as well as a casual atmosphere.

TOC: What tournament or dual match are you looking forward to most this upcoming spring semester and why? 
UofA: We are really looking forward to the Wildcat Winter Classic. We are excited for teams to come and experience the beautiful Tucson weather.

TOC: Your club membership numbers have continued to rise each year - how do you promote your club on campus? 
UofA: We have used Facebook as one of our biggest ways of promoting our team. We have created an AZ club tennis group. Another thing we have done is start an intramural league on Sundays. This helps people hear about us and participate even if they are not as competitive as our club team. We have a wonderful website created by our website manager Nick Brenden. This allows us to post news, info, schedules and all of our contact info that any player may need. We make flyers and post them in various locations throughout Tucson and on the UA campus. We do tabling on the mall and during different events our Rec center has to get our name out there.

TOC: What is your relationship like between the University of Arizona Club Tennis Team and The Reffkin Tennis Center? How has working with this tennis club helped in making your club team successful? Any suggestions on how other club teams can connect with local tennis clubs in their area?
UofA: Reffkin Tennis center is what allows us to succeed as a club. This is where we run our intramural program, which is our club team’s biggest fundraiser. This is also the location of our practices and the Wildcat Winter Classic. Jim Reffkin, director of RTC, has been very supportive of our club since it started and did as much as he could to help us. Meghan Houk, Assistant Director, is helping us run our Wildcat Winter Classic tournament and has been key in making this happen.

TOC: How do you plan for your Wildcat Winter Classic tournament?
UofA: The most difficult part is getting teams to come. Making an effort to connect with teams during other tournaments makes a huge difference. The biggest piece of advice I can give is plan early. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have never run a tournament before ask pros around your city. Most of them are more than happy to help and more than happy to answer questions. Use your resources. If you have someone on your team that’s creative use them to design your shirt. If you have someone who is good with people let them recruit teams and get people to sponsor your team.

TOC: If you could add one professional player to your team’s roster, who would it be? 
UofA: John McEnroe

TOC: With so many club players, how do you run fun and organized team practices?
UofA: Having so many players makes it very difficult to plan an organized practice. One thing that is very challenging is getting everyone motivated and excited to be out there after long hours of school all day. One thing that really helps is to let people on the team have a part in planning the practice. It also helps to have something planned. We generally have a written out plan of what we are doing. Variation also is key. People do not want to do the same thing practice after practice.

TOC: What is your team planning to do in the community for the spring semester?
We have established a strong relationship with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This past semester we did the “Run Like Hell Event” for the CF foundation where we got to do a fun run in our Halloween costumes. We also worked with Tucson Racquet Club to organize and run a car was to raise money for the CF foundation. We also attended the CF Gala Dinner. This semester we are doing the CF Walk and our most exciting tournament is the adult and juniors tournament we are planning with Tucson Racquet Club to help make money for CF foundation. We are very excited about this event! We also do other things as a team in the community like volunteering. Our club volunteers each year at the Gooter Grand Slam tennis tournament that raises money for the Steven Gooter Foundation.

UofA (300) UofA Cheering (300)