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Media buzz shows coast-to-coast love for National Championship

2016 Meet the Teams Oregon wide 769x349 

By Ashley Marshall

Media buzz has been building around the 2016 Tennis On Campus National Championship this week, with national coverage from Oregon to Texas and from Illinois to Arizona.

With 64 coed teams from all 17 USTA sections represented at the annual tournament in Cary, N.C., there’s no lack of interest coast to coast.

The University of Oregon’s newspaper The Daily Emerald told the story of senior captain Emily Plutsky, who has participated in the competition every year since she joined the team as a freshman in 2013. Plutsky is one of three players on the seven-player team to have experienced the trill of TOC before, and she’s looking forward to sharing her final National Championship win so many new faces who will be responsible for leading the club once she graduates.

“I’m really looking forward to showing these guys what a cool experience it is and what it’s like,” said Plutsky, whose team will meet two-time defending champions UC Berkeley in round-robin pool play on Thursday.

In Chicago, DePaul University’s award-winning independent student newspaper The DePaulier previewed the tournament in Monday’s edition. Its story focuses on the growth the team has made since 2011, when the club had only five members and struggled to meet on a consistent basis “due to a lack of organization, leadership and facilities.”

Today, the team boasts more than 100 members, in large part because of the efforts of club president Jon Mulvey, who has dedicated between 20-30 hours each week for the past five years building the program.

“There is so much love for tennis on this campus,” Mulvey told the paper. “I saw an opportunity to develop (the club) from the ground floor. I love being part of the process of growing something into a giant community.”

On the campus of the University of Arizona, student TV news station UATV3 Wildcast Sports caught up with several UA students ahead of the competition.

Bianca Luna praised the strength of the club’s doubles pairings from top to bottom and Connor Harmon described the team as the best he’s played on and said it has a chance to win it all.

Elsewhere, the tournament received coverage on websites including the Sports Destinations website and in Texas-based newspaper The Gilmer Mirror, which focused on Stephen F. Austin’s trip to Nationals for the first time. Palo Alto Online included news of Stanford’s trip to Nationals in Tuesday’s sports recap. In California, the Corvallis Gazette-Times included news about the OSU club team representing the school in its community sports roundup.