Tennis club pioneers new paths in first year

Joe Hanretty, Contributing Writer

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The small but mighty tennis team finished 21st out of 57 teams at the United States Tennis Association's Tennis on Campus Section Championship. Photo by Elizabeth Kerin.

The University of Dallas tennis club has come a long way in the past few years. Junior John Paul “JP” Bremar, club president, started and fueled this endeavor with the effort that is required to stand out at a place like UD.

Bremar, along with about 12 other passionate members, came together to create a legitimate team, something that they proved yet again last weekend.

Thanks to junior Sarah Tafolla’s funding initiative, the team received a $1,500 grant to rent a bus and make the four-hour trip to New Braunfels, Texas, for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis On Campus Texas Section Championship.

Although the club only took five players, they were able to compete and enjoy themselves tremendously. It also allowed for more playing time over the three days of action.

“It was amazing, spending time with teammates,” Tafolla said. “Competing together and finishing 21st out of 57 teams was just incredible.”

Tafolla and a few other players shared the details of their performances.

Junior Diego Healy was not the most pleased of participants, as he won three out of sevenmatches overall and was forced to retire from his last match.

“I played pretty poorly the last time out,” Healy said. “I’m pretty peeved because I was shooting for over .500 … It was like a pitcher getting pulled in the third inning.”

“I was doing pretty well, but just sort of fell off the tracks later in the weekend,” Tafolla, who won six out of 14 matches, said.

Strong performances from other players helped the Crusaders to finish with a 5-2 team record. Bremar won 11 out of 14 matches, but noted the fact that UD managed to beat several larger, more athletically reputable schools.

“We did really well. We beat schools like Texas A&M and Texas Tech among others,” Bremar said.

The club has around 12-15 players right now. The number is ambiguous because commitment for school clubs remains an issue. Although certain players would like a higher commitment percentage, the morale remains high.

“I love this sport,” said Bremar. “The trip and tournament made me love it even more. I just want to play every day now.”

As the last meet of the season, the weekend’s events point towards a bright future for the tennis club. Things seem to be heading the right way as team leaders such as Bremar attempt to get the team recognized as an official NCAA sport.

For now, though, Bremar and the rest of the team can bask in little successes, such as their most recent meet.

“Everyone played extremely well,” Bremar said. “And while that is good, I am more proud that our tiny school from Irving was able to take on much bigger schools and come out with wins.”

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