The Ohio State club tennis team was originally scheduled to travel to Hilton Head Island, S.C. for the United States Tennis Association Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational this weekend, but concerns over the proximity of Hurricane Matthew have delayed the event until Oct. 28-30.
The delay has caused a few changes for the team and vice president Sigrid Schoerner has acknowledged that the delay affects the state of the team.
“Because it’s been moved, our roster is currently under construction,” Schoerner said. “Some people were going to be able to go this weekend, but then some of them can’t go during the week we’ve been moved to.”
Despite the roster shake-up, Schoerner is confident that the team will be ready to compete.
“We were prepared to go this weekend, but this just means that we have more time,” Schoerner said. “If it had been moved to next weekend, that would have been one thing. I just think that it’s been (moved) pretty far ahead (and) it gives us time to practice with the whole new group of people and get them ready to go.”
This invitational is quite exclusive, allowing only 48 intramural and club tennis teams to compete.
Alongside OSU, only two other schools from the Big Ten will be represented at the event. The Wisconsin Badgers will be sending their club team, as will the Maryland Terrapins.
Scarlet Team Fundraising Chairwoman Isabelle Nejedlik believes that it is an honor for the team to be invited to the tournament given its limited number of entrants.
“It means a lot to our team to be invited to some of the bigger events in the country,” Nejedlik said. “Ohio State prides itself on its tennis and since we have such a good varsity team, they are one of the best in the country, both men’s and women’s, we always have expectations to have a really good club team as well.”
The reward for winning the upcoming tournament is huge for the teams, with first and second place receiving automatic bids for the 2017 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in Orlando, Florida, in April of 2017.
With such high stakes on the line, Nejedlik believes that the talent and preparation on her team can help them advance to nationals.
“We have pretty intense tryouts at the beginning of the season,” Nejedlik said. “Most of the girls currently on our top team were former college tennis players but transferred here. So the level every year has gotten higher and higher.”