Texas Club Tennis Swings into Nationals

Justin Kong

The Texas Club Tennis Team will be competing at the 2017 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in Orlando, Florida, this weekend. The tournament hosts the top 64 co-ed intramural and club tennis teams from a pool of over 700 college campuses throughout the nation.

Texas Club Tennis will have the unique opportunity to compete at the prestigious club sports event after successfully qualifying.

“The USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship is the premier recreational college tennis event in the country,” said Newlyn Wing, National Coordinator of USTA Tennis On Campus. “The National Championship is the culmination of these players’ hard work and allows them to represent their universities on a national stage.”

Throughout the 2016-2017 regular season, Texas Club Tennis competed in tournaments in Houston, Denton, Arlington, Corpus Christi, College Station, Beaumont, Waco and Austin.

“We started the season off really strong winning five out of six fall regional tournaments, so the bar was set really high,” Travis Lenz, Vice President of Texas Club Tennis, said. “But we recommitted ourselves in the Spring and found our groove.”

At the conclusion of the regular season, the team received the prestigious “Club of the Year Award” in the Texas Section.

“We're extremely proud to have won the club of the year award because it reaffirms our passion for the sport of tennis,” Lenz said. “Texas Club Tennis has one of the largest and most involved collegiate tennis clubs in the country and to be able to boast Club of the Year for the Texas section really resonates with all of our members.”

Coming off of the regular season, Texas Club Tennis has already made strides in the post season, finishing seventh out of 64 teams from across the nation at the 2017 USTA Tennis On Campus Spring Invitational in Surprise, Arizona.

“It's the first time our team has made it to the gold draw in the last 4 years so we're very proud of them and hope to improve upon these results next year,” Lenz said.

The team is now facing its biggest and final event of the season as it competes in the National Championship. In regards to preparing for the competition, Lenz said a lot of his team’s chances revolves around what happens above the ears.

“The biggest adjustment is our mentality,” Lenz said. “We can't have an individual mentality at a tournament like this where the stakes are high and the competition is stiff.”

On top of qualifying for the event, Texas will also be one of eight teams in contention for the “National Club of the Year” award.

“It would be an incredible honor to win National Club of the Year,” Lenz said. “There are a lot of other deserving clubs out there so being picked out of the crowd would mean a lot to us and serve as motivation to be the best club we can next year.”

The last time the Texas Club Tennis team was crowned the National Champion was in 2008. The team certainly has high hopes of earning that title again heading into competition.

“The attitude is in the right place,” Lenz said. “We are confident, steady, and fired up for some great match play. Win or lose, we know that our results here will only serve to improve on an already fantastic season.”