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Club Tennis Scratches Competitive Itch For Miami Senior Reichert

2017 Tennis On Campus Sydney Reichert 

By Ashley Marshall

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Growing up in Toronto, Miami University senior Sydney Reichert was a standout soccer player. More than that, she was an athlete. And a competitive one at that.

She embraced the thrill of competition and the camaraderie that went along with a team sport. Reichert enjoyed playing tennis, but soccer was always her first love, and after she moved to New York state when she was 14 years old, she had to choose one or the other.

"They're both the same season, so when I had to pursue only one, I chose soccer because I liked the team aspect more," Reichert said. 

Reichert received an offer to play Division I soccer at Miami University in Ohio, and that initially led to her choosing to attend school out of state instead of playing at a D-III program like New York University or Carnegie Mellon, which also has a campus in New York City and is much closer to the family home in Mt. Kisco.

But she struggled to acclimate to life as a freshman in the midwest and eventually realized that since she was unlikely to try to play professional soccer after college, she could spend more time focusing on academics and friendships. For Reichert, club tennis allowed her to still play a competitive team sport without the rigors of a varsity schedule.

"I was really close to transferring first semester," she said. "It was overwhelming as a freshman, but club tennis kept me around.

"I knew I was never going to be a professional soccer player, so when I came to Miami and saw club tennis, it was the best of both worlds. I feel like although I chose not to play varsity sport, this was the right decision for me."

Miami won both the fall and spring invitational tournaments held at Ohio State University and then finished fourth at sectionals to qualify for the Tennis On Campus National Championship in Orlando, Fla. 

Although Miami lost to Gonzaga and the University of Central Florida in the first two pool matches Thursday, the Redhawks finished pool play with a 23-21 win over newcomers the University of Rhode Island to seal a place in the bronze bracket.

Regardless of what the rest of the tournament holds for Reichert and her team, she said the experiences she'll take away from club tennis will help her succeed after school.

"It's taught me not to be afraid to make yourself vulnerable," said Reichert, who will work in marketing and business analytics for Domino’s Pizza when she graduates. "If I hadn't played club tennis, I would have had a difference college experience. Don't be afraid of what other people think. I turned down an offer to play D-I soccer and I chose to come to Ohio instead of staying in New York. Go with what your gut says.

"Playing club tennis gave me a lot of confidence as a leader and I have people believing in me. It helped me join business fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon and that helped me get a full-time job offer. This has been a really, really important part of my college experience."