“A couple of people were hitting on a couple of the courts and I walked up to a guy and asked them what they were here for,” said club president and junior Christin Hoffman. “He said they were here for Auburn’s Club Tennis and I got the information and it has been history from there. They have asked me to be on the traveling team and being president now, its kind of fun.”
Club tennis growth has caught on across the country. Through American Tennis’s governing body, the USTA, college men and women across the United States are able to join tennis teams, make new friends and get active.
“What we use tennis on campus for is a bridge between youth and adult tennis,” said USTA on Campus national manager Glenn Arrington. “The goal for us at the USTA is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. We have the ten-and-under initiative to get more young kids involved, as they get older we have high school no cut teams, after they get out of high school we are trying to promote they every kid can play college tennis whether it be a varsity team or an initiative like tennis on campus.”
The Auburn roster has a global flavor. Consisting of seven players, sophomore Allie Carpenter is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Juniors Robert Oberman and Julian Paez are from Dallas, Texas. Hoffman and senior Caroline Coble are from Georgia, and senior Zachary Fritz is from Bowie, Md.
“I played tennis my whole life, and coming to Auburn I wanted to keep playing tennis throughout college,” Carpenter said. “I went to O-Days and went up to their table, found out about the club, and I signed up."
The format of the national championship serves as the championship for club tennis across the United States. More than 600 schools compete in club tennis across the country with 3,500 student athletes. Using the World Team Tennis format men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles are all present.
“It’s just a perfect blend for college kids,” Arrington said. “Right now looking out the window at them, they are sitting at picnic tables, playing volleyball and corn hole. When they go on the court they leave it all on court but they have a big time socializing as well. You wouldn’t typically have that in a varsity sport; you would see the team come, play, and leave. That is what is unique about what we are doing here.”