By Lindsay Tavarozzi – 1851 Staff
Since senior Myranda Smith took over as President of the Lasell College Tennis Club in 2013, the club has experienced new and exciting changes. As of this September, the club is affiliated with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which allows them to compete in tournaments with other schools. The team came in third in their bracket during their first tournament at Harvard between October 17 and 18.
“We may not have come in first place, but we had so much fun and grew as a family,” said Smith. The team competed against five other schools, all of which were club teams. Some of these groups are Division I teams that require tryouts for their tennis club. Lasell does not.
“This tournament really taught us how to work together,” said Smith. “We learned about our strengths and weaknesses and put them together in order to come out on top with a win against Clark [University, Worces- ter]. I can now say that I have been successful in leading the tennis club because we’ve truly grown in so many ways.”
Smith enjoys both coaching and being president of the club. “My dream is to be a full time coach someday, so this is one step closer to my goal. I enjoy teaching the sport and helping my team grow and learn better skills. We all just really love the sport,” she said.
The team worked diligently throughout the semester to prepare for this tournament. With the direction of Smith, Vice President junior Jessica Gaj, Secretary sophomore Sabrina Skenyon, and Treasurer junior Sara Liborio the club has practice two nights a week along with extra hitting practices throughout the week. “It’s really just a lot of mental prep,” said Smith. The club also held a Fall Kick-Off Tennis Tournament in September to get into competition mode.
“When I first took over as president, we only had ten active members,” said Smith. “For the past two years now, we have had around 25 active members, I was able to turn the club into something I envisioned.”
“I played tennis in high school for all four years,” said sophomore Zach Hamilton. “I really just missed the game. Now that we’re part of the USTA, it’s fantastic. We’re finally beginning to head towards our goal of [competing in] Division III.”
Hamilton has been an active member of the club for the past two years, and his goal has always been to compete against other clubs. “This tournament was the highlight of my semester,” said Hamilton.
According to Smith, the team will be participating in as many tournaments as they can in the upcoming months. The club posts on the Lasell College Tennis Club Facebook page to remind students of practices throughout the week, and Smith encourages all students to come participate. “We want to provide chances for students to come learn the sport and compete in tournaments,” said Smith.
The club also started the Lasell College Annual Tennis Tournament, which will take place in May. This year will be their third tournament.