The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) is home to a wealth of tennis talent, and it continues to show every year at the USTA North Carolina Tennis On Campus State Championships. This year's tournament saw two UNC teams make the finals, marking the second time in the past three years the Tar Heels have finished on top in the state.
UNC A defeated UNC B in the championship match. While the A team featured some of the more experienced players from the school, seeing both teams in the finals provided an added sense of accomplishment for all of UNC's members.
Melissa Addington, president of UNC's Tennis On Campus team, was proud to see her program rise to the occasion once again. Having both teams vying for the title gave Addington the easy task of cheering for everyone involved.
"We're always one of the stronger teams. We have a very deep lineup. Our B team is always strong. It's really nice to see both teams in the finals," Addington said. "We all practice together and we don't really segregate the A or the B team. When we play each other it's a good time because it's just like we're playing in practice. As president I can't be biased. I'm just cheering for both teams."
While UNC featured a mix of grade levels, a recent surge in freshman participation seemed to aid the Tar Heels in sweeping the competition in 2014.
"For some reason this was the strongest freshman class I've seen. We had the most freshman try out since the program started," Addington said. "It's nice to know three years down the line they'll still have a really strong team."
Now a senior at Chapel Hill, Addington has won two state championships with Tennis On Campus in her four years of playing. Now the president for more than a year, she feels like her school is in a good position with its younger players to continue its success even after she's gone.
Addington said she promotes Tennis On Campus at UNC through the school's sports media outlets and the student newspaper. Although participation is always high for the Tar Heels, Addington is seeking new ways to encourage further support from incoming students.
"We're looking at doing a play day. We're going to try to get something going in the spring. Some of the local high schools have pretty competitive players, so we'd like to encourage them to look at coming to UNC," Addington said. "I'm just trying to give back to Tennis On Campus just because of all they do for us. I'm trying to do a little free marketing for them and for UNC. "
UNC now sets its sights on Auburn, Ala., for the USTA Tennis On Campus Southern Championship in February.
Eight schools competed at this year's tournament, with three schools brought two teams to participate. Duke University took third place. The 2014 Tennis On Campus State Championships were held at Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center over the course of two days.
For more information about Tennis On Campus, www.tennisoncampus.com. If you'd like to get involved with Tennis On Campus at your school in North Carolina, contact Caroline downs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNC wins 2014 Tennis On Campus State Championships