For the Boston College Club Tennis team, this year’s season has already earned its place as one to remember. With an impressive track record and a recent big win in its pockets, the team’s future is more promising than ever before as it prepares to compete at nationals this spring.
A co-ed team of roughly 35 people, BC’s Club Tennis team was established in 2009 and has qualified for nationals every year since. Each fall, the team has automatically qualified by ranking in the top 5 teams of the New England USTA Sectionals Tournament, competing against teams like Northeastern, BU, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Yale. Though its one and only sectionals win was in 2012, the team has always landed a spot in the top 5, qualifying for nationals. This season, however, was different.
At the Fall Invitational in Hilton Head, South Carolina this October, BC’s Club Tennis team went in and slammed the competition. Regardless of how a team does in sectionals, it has the chance to qualify for nationals if it places as one of the top two teams at the invitational. Beating out teams like Duke and UPenn, BC climbed its way up to the top— and fast.
As a two-year defending champion of the Fall Invitational, the University of Florida’s squad came face-to-face with BC in a epic showdown. Undeniably one of the most crucial games of the season, the Eagles soared and pulled out a win, beating the Gators 25 to 22 in overall games.
“It’s a really competitive tournament, and we went down there knowing that,” says team member and president Jake Sheehan, CSOM ’16. “But this was a huge win for us. It’s one of the biggest wins ever in BC Club Tennis history.”
In mid-April, the Club Tennis team will head to nationals in North Carolina to carry on the streak that it has established so far this season. The national tournament is a pivotal and identifying moment for the team each year, so it’s no exception that this season, in particular, the Eagles have something to prove.
The team doesn’t have a coach, but that evidently has had no effect on the young talent cultivated and the strong bonds formed between members. Among the team’s strongest players this season are sophomores Alena Frye and Erica Pascocello, who play for women’s singles and doubles, respectively. Senior Jake Sheehan and junior Michael Gauch are also prominent players in men’s doubles, while junior Colin Crawford has excelled in men’s singles and senior Alexis Ditomassi has shown her skill in women’s doubles.
Now, with all eyes on Boston College Club Tennis, the team is practicing hard and mastering its skills in preparation for the national tournament. Seeing as it placed 22nd out of 64 teams last year, the upcoming tournament will give the team a chance to see how it has improved, and how it measures up to other college club teams. More so than ever before, these hard-working athletes have a title to uphold.
“We’re definitely doing pretty good, but there’s always room to improve,” says Sheehan. “After a really strong fall season, I really think we can break through and make some noise at nationals.”
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