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Blogging From The USTA Southern Section Campus Championships In Knoxville

March 13, 2010 10:13 AM
You can't do a college event without an Internet blog. Our players and staff are blogging from our tournament sites in Knoxville. Go back to the main Knoxville tournament page.

 Tennessee bloggers
Scott Lochridge (left) and Will Haselbauer
Tennessee (A & B)
Sunday

Tennessee had two teams in the tournament.  Our B team had a tough draw facing Clemson and Georgia.  Our A team had a chance but met a tough team from UNC in their pool.  Here are some quick comments on our players.

  • Our singles player Nick Vantrease had a chance against UNC but fell short. Then he broke a string. Also his dad said he was standing on his back foot the whole time.
  • GAME OVER! We thought it best to put our only couple in mixed doubles together. I hope their relationship makes it through the tournament. 
  • Steady Teddy stayed steady throughout the tournament.

Tennessee’s A team and B team eventually faced off against each other in the first round of the back draw and had a few close matches that were definitely more intense then what we get in practice.  Even with all the rain, this event has been extremely smooth with all the indoor courts available. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get an automatic bid this year, but we hope to get a wildcard and see everybody soon in Surprise, Arizona.    


 Georgia Tech bloggers
Ally Hynes and Doug Meagh
Georgia Tech
Sunday

In pool play on Saturday our team faced UT Chattanooga and Elon. The team played very well and won both of the matches. Both of the matches were finished indoors due to the inclement weather that lasted the whole weekend. After resting up Saturday night and getting to bed nice and early in anticipation of daylight savings time (hoping for an early morning default from our opponents), but everyone remembered and we faced off against our in-state rivals, the University of Georgia in the semifinals. Our doubles came out strong and gave us an eight-game lead going into singles. We split the singles matches with a one game difference favoring UGA. Georgia won the mixed match 6-1, but we had a clutch break in the second game of overtime to clinch the match and a bid to Nationals!!! What’s the good word?!?!



Clemson bloggers 
Courtney Reeve
Clemson Club Tennis
Saturday
Courtney (pictured in the center) contributed a poem …

Clemson orange brightens my eyes in this gray cloud cover.
The weather is not diminishing our spirits.
Freedom isn’t free.

By Joe Fleenor
USTA Southern Tennis Service Representative / Tennessee
Saturday
Ten years ago I was a sophomore at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville where I founded the Tennis on Campus club team.  Today, I’m working for the USTA and this weekend we’re hosting the USTA Southern Sectional Championship in Knoxville – home of my alma mater!  Because my colleagues knew that I went to school here and have been coming to Volunteer football games for my entire life, they have relied on me to serve as “dining coordinator.” We arrived in town a couple of days in advance of the tournament to start preparations, leaving me with two days worth of lunches and dinners that I was tasked with arranging.  I wanted to impress my fellow tournament staffers with exquisite cuisine, but Knoxville isn’t known to be a hotbed for world-renowned culinary arts. Knowing that I was limited in my choices, I decided to treat my co-workers to a mixture of dining choices.

 Joe Fleenor
Up first, Puleo’s Grill (lunch). This is your typical chain restaurant.  Lots of choices.  Affordable prices. Good food. Reviews from our party: 2.5 out of 5 stars. Next … S&W Depot in downtown Knoxville (dinner).  This was a new restaurant that I had never been to, but was recommended to from a friend of mine who still lives in the area.  We walk inside and the first thing we see is a grand piano. We immediately feel underdressed. But they allow us in anyway. Good thing because I didn’t have a back-up plan. Food was good, not great.  Definitely over-priced – we think it’s because of the grand piano in the front lobby.  Reviews from our party: 3 out of 5.

The next day I felt a little bit of pressure since my first two choices were mediocre at best. I needed to spice things up a little bit, and that’s exactly what I did!  Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant was next on the agenda (lunch).  The box lunches were the best deal going. For $7 you get soup, sushi, salad, eggplant and sweet potato tempura, rice and curry chicken. Nice presentation. Great service. Reviews from our party: 4 out of 5.  This led us to my last meal I had to plan for (tournament starting the next day – lots of sub sandwiches to look forward to. Oh boy!). I decided to go all out and treat them to a Knoxville “must” – Calhoun’s. If you haven’t been to a Calhoun’s before, it’s a wonderful barbecue joint with a great ambiance. Wagon wheels, antlers and old-timey metal signs grace the walls and good food, beverages and conversation grace the table.  Men had ribs. Women had chicken. Reviews from our party: 4.5 out of 5.  As the President for the USTA Southern Section Rex Maynard would say, “Finish Strong”.

 Ron Cioffi
Ron Cioffi
Webmaster/Photographer/Writer: USTA Southern Director of Communications
Friday
I arrive in Knoxville and am wisked away to a Thai restaurant by Tournament Director & USTA Southern's Collegiate Manager Jeff Smith. I have the box lunch that include a few very delicious items I can't pronounce.

We spend the afternoon planning tournament play and dealing with the very forboding weather forecast. Jeff is on the phone with indoor racquet clubs and gets three clubs to give us courts on Saturday. I do a video of the whole staff: Jeff, Marusa Pogacnik from USTA North Carolina, Cathy Harris from USTA Tennessee and Joe Fleenor, USTA Southern's Tennis Service Representative from Tennessee. The three representatives of the states do a little trash talking between the two bordering states. Wow! Game is on!

Because we may be playing at three new facilities, I build an online Google map of the host hotel and our tennis facilities.

Dinner at Calhoun's. A whole lotta ribs and a hometown beer. Excellent!!

 

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