The Southern Sectional championship for USTA’s collegiate club team program – Tennis On Campus – will draw 51 teams from 10 states to three tennis sites in Auburn and Opelika this weekend.
More than 400 college tennis players are expected to compete in the 2014 Tennis On Campus Southern Championship Feb. 21-23. Teams are vying for spots in the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in Surprise, Ariz., April 10-12.
All eight Southern teams that won bids to last year’s national championship are scheduled to play: the College of Charleston (2013 Southern champion), LSU, Kentucky, UNC/Greensboro, Georgia (2013 national champion), UNC/Chapel Hill, Duke and Emory.
At least 32 schools are expected to send teams, with numerous larger universities sending “A,” “B” and “C” teams.
“We are hosting hundreds of young tennis players, all of whom will be continuing to play the sport they love, even though they are not on varsity teams,” said USTA Southern Director of Schools and Collegiate Tennis Jeff Smith. “But, many of these players were very talented high school players who have decided to concentrate on academics instead of accepting high-level scholarship offers. The quality of tennis is extraordinary.” Smith also serves as tournament director.
Coed teams compete on five courts using World Team Tennis Collegiate rules. The team with the most games won is the winner of the match. None of the players can currently be on the varsity team and only one can be a former varsity player.
This year’s event will draw the top teams from throughout the section’s nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Additionally, Texas A&M/Texarkana, which is in the Southern Section, is set to play.
Matches will be played at three sites: Yarbrough Tennis Center (headquarters), the intramural/students courts on the Auburn campus and the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National.
Tennis On Campus was established in 2000 as a coed non-varsity participation-based program designed to increase the number of active tennis players on college campuses. It is currently offered on over 600 college campuses and services over 35,000 students. Students can participate in on-campus play and championship play through the USTA National Championship, the Fall & Spring Invitational Events, Section Championships, other TOC & Alumni Events.