The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M club tennis falls at nationals


The Texas A&M club tennis team fell short in a bid for USTA Tennis On-Campus National Championships despite the team’s championship pedigree.
Virginia and Baylor combined to knock A&M – which has won five total championships – out of contention in the round of 16. A&M finished No. 12 nationally in the tournament held from Apr. 10-14 in Surprise, Ariz.
The club, made up of 225 students, considers itself a tight-nit group despite its size.
“The best part is probably getting to know everyone,” said senior club president Matthew Hillestad.
The club is split into eight different teams according to skill level. Players have a chance to work their way up the ladder through their play in practice.
The team participates in six regional tournaments in the fall before traveling to Austin to compete with other in-state programs for a spot at nationals.
Tara Dean, senior club secretary and agricultural leadership and development major, said she heard about the club through friends who were officers within the club. After transferring from Texas A&M-Galveston, Dean was talked into attending one of the two weekly practices.
“I’ve played tennis since I was in second grade so it’s just nice to be around people who enjoy tennis as much as I do,” Dean said.
Hillestad said that most of the team’s members find out of the club through MSC Open House and other marketing venues. Once on the team, players enjoy themed practices and tournament travel to keep the mindset light despite most players’ competitive nature.
With practices being in a “King of the Court” format, the players are able to be competitive and work their way up the ladder while still enjoying the sport that most played at the high school level.
Wadih Salem, junior kinesiology major, was recently named president. Salem said the highlight of his week is arriving at the intramural tennis courts to spend time with his biggest group of friends.
“It’s been the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been at A&M,” Salem said. “To come out here and play tennis, it’s all I really look forward to each week.”

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