Club tennis to live on at Biola
For most Biola students who do not take part in varsity sports, intramurals are the way to go. Biola club tennis, once put on the back burner, is determined to return to the college tennis scene and provide an opportunity to take the court to a new level.
Due to a lack of interest, the club tennis team dissolved over the past couple of years and spiraled into obscurity; but the new captain, freshman Andrew Deming, is forging ahead with a brand new team to travel the state and represent Biola once more. The players are following Deming onto the team for various reasons, some because they didn’t have the skill to compete at the varsity level and some because they just missed the varsity team tryouts. But the team is also there simply for those with the desire to play.
“I’m not a big fan of competitive tennis, and the club team just has a much more relaxed vibe about it,” Deming said. “We want to put Biola club tennis on the Southern California league map. The season is all year long, but we just started this semester. Next year, though, we’re going to play a full season.”
Challenges still face development of team
Though the team was unaware of the challenges that lay before them at the beginning of the semester, it became painfully clear after their first couple tournaments.
“Individually, by seeing the competition and the level of play from other schools, especially the older students from UCSB [University of California Santa Barbara], my competitive side got its boat rocked,” freshman Amy Parks said. “Now I'm determined to strive for a higher level, especially witnessing the level of tennis other students can bring to tournaments.”
The team is very casual at the moment, with optional practice held only once a week, but the team’s results have left them with a new attitude about training in the future.
“The tournament experience was a motivating one, in ways that pertained to both perspectives of an individual and a team member,” freshman Erin Jeffries said. “Although we weren't the team with the most skill or experience, we did prove to be a group with high respect for the game, but we’re now, more than ever, fired up and ready to make a name for ourselves.”
Wins and losses aren’t sole focus of the team
Though the newly formed band of eager players has yet to come home with any trophies, their spirit and optimism remained intact as they keep their focus on the love of the game. In time, the group may evolve into more of a force to be reckoned with, but for now it is still in its infantile stages of reconstruction.
“I am planning to play on this team for the entire stretch of time that I'm at Biola,” Jeffries said. “Simply being able to play weekly, while enjoying and appreciating the great people on the team, is enough to keep me on for three more years.”