Iowa State tennis club seeks third straight nationals appearance

Members of the Tennis Club practiced at the tennis courts next to the Forker building on Sept. 26, 2017. 

Hannah Allen

Tennis players filled up each tennis court near the Forker building. Happiness filled the air as the players hit the ball back and forth with Nick Yeo, webmaster of the team.

The weight of the heavy racket as it rests in the hand as the feeling of accomplishment hits when the ball goes over the net for the first time. The sound of tennis balls against rackets and people reuniting filled the air.

Tennis is back.

“In the past we just had one recreational team overall, but this year we are splitting the club into a competitive and then a recreational team,” said club tennis president Joey Weissmann.

This year’s biggest change to the club tennis team is the implementation of two different teams. One team is for players who want a more laid-back experience playing tennis, while the other team is for players that are looking to compete in tournaments and matches.

“The recreational team is just for fun,” Weissmann said. “So, just if you don’t want to travel or anything you can just come out [and] play games and stuff.”

The recreational team is made up of all players, from people who are new to the sport to people who have been playing their whole lives. While the recreational team doesn’t compete in tournaments, they will practice with the competitive team every day.

“We do have a handful of kids that have never played tennis before and they have been with the club for four years,” Weissmann said.

With over one hundred players on the team, each and every one of them is there to enjoy a hobby. At each practice, the courts fill with players escaping the stressors of school and finding time to enjoy a sport they are passionate about.

On the courts, players get the opportunity to meet new people who share similar aspirations in the game of tennis and like to have a great time while doing so. While the team is laid back, players still have the chance to play at a more competitive level.

“With the competitive team this year we wanted to make all the competitive kids play together so that they can continually get better and hopefully we get our third year in a row at nationals,” Weissmann said.

The competitive team was added so that players who are traveling to events and participating in competitive meets can get the experience of playing together.

With a new setup of the team comes a new mindset. The team’s goal is to make it back to nationals for the third year in a row.

“We only lost one player, so we will be just as good, hopefully, as we were in the past,” said Keagen Nelson-Talley, former cabinet member. “I mean we’ve gone to nationals the past two years, there’s no reason we can’t repeat for a third year.”

“Just making it is good enough, maybe place top half at the tournament,” Weissmann said. “Making nationals is big enough on its own.”