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THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND WINS NEW ENGLAND TENNIS ON CAMPUS CLUB OF THE YEAR
February 27, 2017
“We didn’t expect to win the award, but we were very hopeful. I know we have a great team, however, there are so many other great teams in the Tennis On Campus program, we were just hopeful that ours would stand out,” said Captain Celia Dunn.
In its fourth year participating in TOC, URI decided to make a culture change to its program, which started with the restructuring of the executive board. The team has grown from 20 to 30 competitive players this season and the quality of play has improved throughout matches and practices. Off the court, the team has hosted a number of team social events as well as fundraised more money than it has in any previous year.
“URI has shown tremendous strides as a club this year. We have so many teams that excel both on and off the court, but URI has gone above and beyond to show their dedication and commitment to the TOC program day in and day out,” said Sarah Rice, Manager, Community Development for USTA New England.
In addition, the club has increased its community support by fundraising for other organizations. URI participated in events such as Relay for Life, for the American Red Cross, Northeastern University’s Midnight Madness tournament, for the Boston Police Tennis Program and the Pie in the Face fundraiser, for the Gabrielle Dinmore Heart and Hope Foundation to aid to children with congenital heart disease.
For winning Club of the Year, URI has earned an automatic bid to TOC Nationals from April 13-15 in Orlando, FL, the program’s first appearance to date. They will be joining Harvard, Yale, Boston College, Northeastern and Tufts in Orlando, which previously qualified by finishing 1st to 5th respectively at TOC Sectionals in October.
“I can’t think of a better way to end my time with the club team than at the National Tournament,” Dunn said. “As one of the founding members of this team, I could never have imagined the amount of success we would have. It makes me very proud of everyone who puts time into the team.”