Beacon Tennis Club pictured left to right: Kyle Close, Inna Noll, Brendan Rowe, Anita Rollins, Lily Bohn, Mandy Katz
The Beacon College Tennis Club notched the school’s first intercollegiate win in any sport earlier this month during its first appearance in the Delray Beach Open ‘Tennis on Campus’ Challenge — serving up notice that Navigator club teams are becoming a force to contend with.
Held Feb. 16 during the ATP World Tour event in Delray Beach, Fla., the tourney allows collegians to brush up on their backhands while watching pros in action.
The Beacon Tennis Club suited up five players: Inna Noll, Brendan Rowe, Anita Rollins, Lily Bohn, and Mandy Katz. The squad competed against fellow first-timer, Lynn College, as well as the universities of Florida, North Florida, Miami, Tampa, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Atlantic, and Florida State.
The tournament was part of the USTA Florida Tennis on Campus series. The program affords collegians opportunities for team camaraderie, social networking, and the thrill of playing competitive tennis without the demands of a NCAAA varsity program. Players compete in men’s’ and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Matches follow World Team Tennis scoring format and offers co-ed championship competition on more than 500 college campuses.
“This was a fantastic experience for the students being able to play other colleges and watch professionals,” said Kyle Close, who oversaw the club’s practices and serves as coordinator of club and recreational sports at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla. The nonprofit liberal arts school is America’s first accredited baccalaureate program that educates primarily students who learn differently.
In match play, Lily Bohn earned a 6-3 singles victory against a Florida State opponent.
“I was not surprised about my performance,” said Bohn, 21, a sophomore human services major from Sheboygan, Wi. “I have been playing tennis for a while. From the past to right now, I have been playing tennis really well. I am very happy that I did so well and I am very happy that I am representing Beacon College.”
Team Beacon, however, bowed out after first round of bracket play against the University of Tampa.
In the end, the University of Miami outlasted the University of Florida 24-20 in the finals to win the tourney.
“As always, there was great tennis to see from our TOC players, and when they were not on the courts themselves, they were engaged in all of the ATP action around the grounds,” Desirae McLaughlin, USTA Florida Tennis on Campus Coordinator, said in a press release.
Close believes the success the tennis club enjoyed in Delray Beach will only begat more interest in Beacon club sports.
“Lily got our first individual intercollegiate win in any sport — with hopefully more sports [being added] and succeeding like tennis has,” he added. “We are happy that we were able to find success and are hungry for more. Looking forward to more tennis players coming out.”