What Happened in College Tennis in 2015?
It's christmas and hopefully the calm time of the year to relax and reflect on all that's happened in your lives this year.
We have been doing the same. Naturally so, also for what's been happening in the college tennis universe.
As a result we'd like to dedicate today's article to the top highlights of the college tennis 2015 season. Let's not even gonna call it article, as we want to put the emotions of the athletes and teams first, rather than us writing an informative piece. Doesn't the saying go "A picture is worth a thousand words"? Replace picture with video and you get what it is we want you to enjoy today: a quick recap of college tennis action with some highlight videos of 2015. Enjoy! :)
Men's and Women's National Champions
On the women's side, the Commodores from Vanderbilt University secured the national title with a 4-2 victory over UCLA. It was the university's first title for their tennis program ever. See some impressions of the final in Vanderbilt's highlight video:
On the men's side, the three-seeded Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners with a total score of 4-1. See the highlights of Virginia capturing the program's second national championship in below video:
Oracle & College Tennis
2015 has seen a big announcement by Oracle Corporation to support college tennis to an even greater extent going forward. Part of the announcement was the establishing of an invitational tournament for the elite of D-I tennis at the beginning of the fall season. The Oracle/ITA Masters was held for the first time ever at Malibu Racquet Club, with the finals being broadcasted on TV. Great story for college tennis and we're looking forward to seeing much more of this alliance come spring. British Cameron Norrie from TCU defeated Nicolas Alvarez in the final match, whereas Virginia's Danielle Collins secured the title following a walkover in the final match. See a recap of the events (doubles and singles) here or check out the final tiebreak of the men's singles match:
There's also been changes in the way college tennis will be played come 2016. There will be no-ad scoring in D-I tennis. This will make the dual match format inevitably faster and more "plannable" and we are certainly looking forward to see how fans, supporters, and players will respond to the increased number of "big points". For more details, we recommend you take a look at the NCAA's announcement here.
Tennis Program Cuts
The announced closing of the men's and women's tennis program at UMBC has created a lot of noise in the college tennis scene (see more here). Hats off to the UMBC tennis community who really showed how it feels about this decision:
It's unfortunatley not going to stop the trend of more and more schools cutting tennis (just like that), but it's great seeing coaches, players, and supporters alike express their opinions about it and give the officials something to think about.
As promised, an article with the purpose of getting you into the mood for 2016 spring season with tons of exciting college tennis to come. New recruits, shift of power between teams (?) and some long-discussed structural changes. We're excited for 2016 and we hope you feel the same about it. :)
Merry, merry christmas from Team Smarthlete to you and your families and stay with us in 2016 as well.