By Kaylin Finnegan
|Members of the Loyola University Chicago|
watch their mixed doubles team in their
quarterfinal match of the Bronze Bracket.
(Photo by Cameraworks USA)
Facing the loss of their tennis courts, Loyola University’s club tennis team remains more positive than ever
You’d think having 86 players practicing on two singles tennis courts would be the greatest obstacle Loyola University- Chicago’s club tennis team would be forced to overcome. Think again.
Over the past five years Loyola University – Chicago’s Tennis On Campus program has grown to become the school’s largest club sport, but despite producing players such as Cameron Burnett, this year’s Tennis On Campus Leader of the Year, the team’s biggest set-back has yet to come.
“Loyola University is tearing down our only two practice courts in an effort to construct Jesuit residences,” said Lauren Davis.
Davis said she and other team leaders expected more than half the team to quit due to crowded practices, insufficient funds and the loss of school tennis courts. However, when everyone was willing to put in the extra time, money and effort, Loyola’s tennis program continued to flourish despite the setbacks.
“Our practices were overcrowded so we made the commitment as a team to travel to the nearest facility which is over an hour away,” said Jonnie Powers. “The extra effort to provide additional space to play has not only improved our tennis game, but it has also brought us closer together as a team.”
During this morning’s mixed doubles play, Loyola University – Chicago’s Cameron Burnett and teammate Lauren Davis squared off against a touch U.C. Irvine team. With the Loyola bench cheering admirably courtside, Burnett and Davis defeated the California powerhouse team 7-5 during a a thrilling super tie breaker.
“What makes us different from other teams is that it’s not all about winning,” said Fleur Langer. “Tennis On Campus has given us the opportunity to realize this by fostering an environment to play competitive tennis while still building friendships. If the loss of our tennis courts can’t destroy our team, I don’t think anything will.”
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