Club Tennis team making as much noise as varsity
Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm in Sports
Though the USC menâs and womenâs tennis teams have dominated the collegiate tennis scene, another squad from USC hopes to make some noise on the national level.
USCâs menâs and womenâs club tennis squads will send 10 players to Cary, N.C., to participate in a 64-team draw at the United States Tennis Assocation National Tennis On-Campus Championships, which begins today and ends Saturday.
Medical school student Jordan Rees and freshman Colin Tseng will pair up in menâs doubles alongside seniors Ashley Ohira and Madeline Segura in womenâs doubles.
Tseng will also join graduate student Amber Brightly in mixed doubles. Sophomore Dave Warren and senior Amanda Ellis will play in menâs and womenâs singles, respectively.
Sophomores Alden Mitchell and Yaron Steinfeld will also travel with the team as alternates, while junior Allen Jebsen will serve as captain for the squad.
âItâs a really cool atmosphere [at Nationals],â Jebsen said. âYou just feel like youâre part of USC. When you go there, you represent USC, and thatâs what makes me want to play my best.â
Match play will model the World TeamTennis format, in which every match consists of five sets of six games, with each set devoted to either menâs doubles, womenâs doubles, mixed doubles, menâs singles or womenâs singles. A team wins based on total games won, rather than sets won.
The tournament begins with round robin play in a pool of four teams. After three matches in one day, the teams will be divided into four separate brackets based on their pool record.
Once sorted into either the Gold, Silver, Bronze or Copper bracket, the teams will face off in a 16-team playoff over two days. The last one standing in the Gold bracket will be crowned champion, a title that USC has yet to take in the tournamentâs 12-year history.
On the first day of play, USC will face a pool comprised of James Madison University, Northeastern University and the University of MissouriâColumbia.
USCâs club team, which practices four hours a week at Marks Tennis Stadium, hopes to go far in the tournament after the team had to back out of the Nationals last year.
Segura, who also serves as president of the USC Tennis Club, will be going to the Nationals for the third time.
âIt really is an experience that I will take with me forever,â Segura said. âI think we will do really well. I presume weâre going to come back with very successful results.â
USCâs club team, which consists of 25 members, is part of the bigger USC Tennis Club, which offers a source of competitive tennis for more than 250 members of all talent levels.
âThe competitive aspect is really nice,â Steinfeld said. âBut itâs also just nice to get away from the studying scene and all of that, and be able to come here and play tennis with some of my closest friends.â
While the next three days will feature some stiff competition in the likes of reigning champion UCLA and five-time champion Texas A&M, USC lacks no confidence in its title chances.
âWeâre going to win it,â Jebsen said.Â â Weâre going all the way.â