Moody students ‘serve’ content at professional tennis tournament on campus

Aaron Sullivan, General News Reporter

Moody students put the skills they learn in the classroom to the test by covering a men’s pro tennis open last week at the Texas Tennis Center.

The Greenview Development and Majestic Realty Open, organized by a local tennis tournament promoter DropShot Series, was seven days long and featured some of the Longhorn’s current and former tennis stars — but at the event, UT students worked both on and off the court. 

Journalism professor Kathleen McElroy said the Moody College partnered with the DropShot Series after she heard about the ATX Open, a women’s tennis tournament scheduled for the end of February. McElroy said she coordinated with tournament organizers to have Moody students produce media for a women’s tournament in September and the recent men’s tournament. The team of Moody students covered the tournament through video, photo, social media and writing.

“I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to get more work (and) for me to diversify my video portfolio,” said Ryan Cerna, a journalism and radio-television-film junior. “You learn so much more (by) actually being out in the field. … You have to improvise. You have to adapt. I think that makes your work stronger and better.”

Most of the student-produced content was published on DropShot’s social media, but a small portion of the media team wrote daily recaps and previews of the tournament’s action. 

Journalism senior Lucy Lopez said she helped manage DropShot’s Instagram and TikTok. DropShot’s Instagram was just shy of 500 followers at the beginning of the women’s tournament in September. After the singles final match concluded Sunday, it had 612.

“The engagement has grown by over 20%,” Lopez said. “I definitely do feel like (the) social media … was like my baby, and I’m so proud of just how much it grew.”

Lopez said she believes the students learned from producing content in a new and unfamiliar environment.

“When you’re thrown into a real-life situation … it’s kind of sink or swim,” Lopez said. “Fortunately, the team and I swam all the way to the very end of the finish line.”