If you are looking for club tennis at Swarthmore, you’re in luck. A new team started up this year, and by its early popularity, it looks like they are here to stay.
Dan Yang ’22 and Justin Jatto ’22 started the club just a few weeks ago.
“We started the club with the intention to link up with more Swat students that enjoyed playing tennis.” Yang said. “We were lucky enough to be friends last year and hit together, but we wanted to extend beyond the two of us.”
In just over one month that Swarthmore has been in session, Yang and Jatto have already been able to attract a large crowd to join club tennis.
“They had a stand at the activities fair and said they were trying to start club tennis back up,” said first-year member Sydney Levy The first practice Levy went to was on Sunday after the club fair.
Levy said at the first practice she went to, there were about twenty people, with an even split of men and women.
The club attracts a wide variety of members with different levels of tennis experience and different reasons for playing.
“It was a good variety of competition,” Levy said. “Not too high, not too low.”
While Levy indicated she was mainly joining the club to play tennis and meet new friends, she was also hopeful that being on the club tennis team would lead to a PE credit in the future.
“I don’t know why club tennis is the only sport that doesn’t get a PE credit,” said Levy.
She mentioned the co-founders talked about trying to get a PE credit in the future, and she seemed sure that as the club became more established on campus, the members would receive a PE credit for participating.
The club also has members who are varsity athletes in other sports. Callie Cho ’23 is a defender on the field hockey team, but she enjoys being able to join the club for occasional tennis practice on the side.
“I’m playing because I played varsity tennis in high school and I liked the sport,” said Cho.
Right now, the club has two practices a week. According to Yang, the club is scheduled to hit on Sundays from 2:00-3:30 and Thursdays from 4:30-6:00. Levy was told at the first practice she went to that, while practices aren’t mandatory, members should try to come once a week.
“It is a chill atmosphere,” co-founder Yang said when describing the hitting sessions. Cho agreed, calling the practice she went to super low key.
The fun, laid back atmosphere is something that co-founders Yang and Jatto are trying to create as they figure out everything else surrounding the club.
“Starting out,” Yang said, “We just want to familiarize ourselves with running a club and have chill sessions, but hopefully in the future, we can get chartered and possibly link up with other schools in the area and organize [friendly matches].”
Yang said the club was reluctant to schedule too many competitive matches because of the laid back atmosphere, but he did hint that they would potentially hold a tournament in the future.
The co-founders are still determining what the match schedule will look like as well as figuring out if members will get a PE credit in the spring, but they have already completed the difficult and important task of organizing two hits a week around two varsity teams’ schedules.
Yang and Jatto are optimistic about the future of the club, and what it could mean for members of Swarthmore’s student body who want to play tennis as an extracurricular activity.
“We knew there was a lot of interest and people that wanted to hit,” said Yang.
So far, the interest that Yang hoped for has been there, and the practices have been well attended by Swarthmore students of all tennis abilities.