Club tennis provides physical escape, de-stress from academics


Dante Gutierrez

As one of the only co-ed club sports on campus, club tennis emphasizes unification and positivity to its members.

Twice a week, some members of the club tennis walk down the rocky trail beside the baseball field onto the tennis courts. Others will take a shortcut and run down the small slope by the soccer field that leads to the tennis courts. Club tennis at St. Edward’s is an inviting, cohesive and one of three club sports on campus that competes as a co-ed team. 

“We are a diverse co-ed group of students who are dedicated to being a part of a growing community on campus,” club president Emma Weber said.

Club tennis was inactive at St. Edward’s until 2017 when senior Lexie Elliott established the club. Senior Damanty Bakker, an International Business major, played a major role in helping the club flourish. Bakker, a former Social Coordinator, helped recruit members and create the club’s vision.

“We’ve outreached and people have now found out that we’re actually a club and that it gives them an opportunity to stay active,” vice president Cristobal Garcia-Quiroz said. Garcia-Quiroz, junior double-major in Biology and Political Science, has been a member since his freshman year. 

The tennis club meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. However, during the fall semester, practices are shortened due to daylight saving time. The St. Edward’s tennis courts don’t have any lights. Occasionally, the club will sign up for weekend tournaments. 

Club tennis plays year-round. Consequently, the club can take advantage of the longer days in the spring semester to make up for lost practice time during the fall semester.

Prospective members must attend a tryout at the beginning of each semester. According to Weber, members are chosen based on their skill level, attitude, ability to contribute to the community and their level of commitment. 

“We have accepted people who have never played in their life and people who have been playing their entire life. We want people who want to be on the court with us for four hours a week,” Weber said. 

One example of a novice member is Stefan Parra, a senior majoring in International Business from Mexico City. “I started playing tennis two years ago for fun. I looked into the club and decided to join,” Parra said. 

Once chosen, members are asked to pay a $120 fee per semester. The fee is to offset the cost of tournament fees, team apparel, equipment and a private coach. Coach Carlin Murray is affiliated with United States Tennis Association and attends practices once a week, usually on Tuesdays, and helps members hone their craft by instructing them on their form and providing the team with drills. 

The St. Edward’s club tennis team partook this past weekend in the Austin Regional Tournament, a tournament organized by Tennis on Campus and a program that works with the USTA to organize tournaments between college club teams across the United States.