By Branson Hardcastle | Sports Writer
The Baylor tennis club won the A, B and C divisions at the Denton Regional Tournament this past weekend, kicking off its season.
The club took three teams to the tournament and were able to get 1st place finishes for each team. The teams were split by skill level with A being the most advanced and C being the least advanced out of the teams that competed for the Baylor Club.
Each team plays men’s and women’s double matches and a mixed double match. Wins in those categories add up to decide the winner of the tournament.
Aledo senior and co-president Lindsey Bradford said she was impressed by how well the teams played in their first tournament of the new year.
“I think we are going to do well this season. We have more wins [than last season]. We have a good strong team this year,” Bradford said. “Our goal is to get to nationals this year.”
Typically, only the A team advances to nationals but, according to Bradford, if the B team is skilled enough, they can get a bid to the tournament as well. Nationals are in Orlando, Fla. this season.
Based on their performance at the Denton Regional Tournament, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia senior and co-president Marie Bozeman said she is excited for the changes that the team is going through.
“Last year we needed more direction, leadership and structure. Which is something we have already started to implement,” Bozeman said. “With all of that planning, we have already seen what it can do for us. Hopefully we can continue to move more in that direction.”
The Baylor tennis club plays in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis on Campus league. The club currently has around 75 members, though not all members participate in the tournaments, but they do take part in practices throughout the year.
Bradford said she believes the club’s welcoming atmosphere is why so many members are dedicated to the team.
“We are very much a family. We all hang out together outside of the club. We go to football games together. We do random things together,” Bradford said. “[The club] is what I look forward to every week. It is the highlight of my time at Baylor. I don’t know what I would do without it.”
Houston freshman Jimmy Tran played in the Denton Regional Tournament on the B team.
Tran said he has experienced the environment Bradford talked about in his few short weeks on the team.
“[The community] is really warming and welcoming. Everyone out here is helping and pushing each other to play better,” Tran said. “All of the leaders and everyone are really nice and are cool people to hang out with.”
Instead of doing a lot of drills at practice, they scrimmage to develop their skills. The club does not have a coach, so they rely on other members to help teach new members the game or to teach advanced players new techniques.
The club practices Mondays and Thursdays from 8-10 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Facility. Fees to join the club are $80. All experience levels are welcome to join.