Club tennis program continues to grow

Demi-Shay Watchorn, Contributing Writer

The club tennis team is happy to announce it is in their second year at Mercer University and is continuing to see growth.

The program was started by a couple of former club tennis members who graduated in 2013.

“It is up to the current team to market themselves around campus in order to get other students interested,” said senior and President Brett Eckles.

The role of the president and vice president are to schedule practices and choose the tournaments the team will be attending. The team holds election at the end of the season to vote for the following year’s leaders.

The team mostly consists of returners, which allows them to keep the same practice schedule from former years. The team practices Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. every week unless there is a scheduled event that takes priority.

Practices are open to any Mercer student, and there is typically a turnout between 25 to 30 people.

“Any new member can challenge a current members to earn a spot on the travel team. This is what makes club tennis competitive,” Eckles said.

Everyone coaches each other during practices. The head coach of the men’s tennis team, Eric Hayes, has gone to a few of the club tennis practices to help out and give constructive coaching advice.

“At the beginning of the semester, the team holds an in-house tournament, called a round robin,” Eckles said.

They select the top 10 men and women to be on the travel team, which attends four tournaments each semester. At the most recent tournament they attended, there were 48 other school accounted for. On average, the team will only play five or six of the 48 teams.

The club tennis budget comes from club sports. It covers hotels, gas and travel fees. The players are only responsible for feeding themselves.

The overall dynamic of the team is that everyone is there to get better. Everyone on the team holds each other responsible.

“Club tennis is about growth and experiences,”  Eckles said.