CPP’s tennis club prevails in the USTA Tennis on Campus Nationals

By Fabiola Aceves May 9, 2023

The Cal Poly Pomona Tennis Club won the Copper Bracket at the 2023 USTA Tennis on Campus National Championships, defeating the North Dakota State University club in the grand finals 30-13.

The USTA on Campus National Championship was a three-day tournament held April 6-8. The first day consisted of three rounds of pool. In round one, the CPP team was defeated by Penn University 30-19. In the second round, the CPP team was again defeated by Baylor University 26-20. However, the team triumphed in the third round by defeating Illinois 21-20.

On the second day of competition, the knockout rounds began. In the first two knockout rounds of the Copper Bracket, the team defeated the University of Tennessee and Texas Christian University.

Courtesy of Abby Yuen

Competing at such a high level can be very intimidating. While the drive to Arizona only took 5 hours, other teams from more distant states had to fly there. Despite the pressure, the team managed to stay calm and focused.

“We were the underdogs so I wasn’t that nervous,” said CPP tennis club player Ryan Trinh. “I felt like the whole team really stepped it up.”

After two days of competition, the team was able to move into the semi-finals. The team had finally qualified for the final game in the Copper Bracket by eliminating Colorado State University. The win exceeded the team’s own expectations and added to the excitement they already felt.

“We didn’t expect to do so well either,” said Abby Yuen, another player who competed in Arizona. “We were excited and a bit nervous to play against people at this level because the level of competition was really impressive.”

Reaching the final round of the Copper Bracket meant the team would face North Dakota State University. The CPP team won 30:13. This victory meant that the club not only took part in the national team for the first time in the club’s history, but also won the overall standings.

“I was delighted to be able to do that on our first run, especially given the fact that the club only restarted in the fall, and then to be able to achieve that in a span of a year,” said Trinh.

The win was important for the team because it put them 49th overall for Southern California teams.

Mai Jara, faculty advisor and assistant professor of kinesiology and health promotion, acknowledged the hard work of the team. Jara believes her strong work ethic led her to this win.

“They work hard,” Jara said. “Every moment they have, they train on the tennis court. They have this Discord chat where someone is always yelling, ‘Hey, I’m at the tennis court, can someone come?'”

The club is divided into three different teams referred to as Team A, B and C. Despite being divided into multiple teams, club members are still mentors, helping younger members to practice and improve.

“Their willingness to teach and mentor these B and C teams, they have this build the team together mentality,” Jara said.

The three teams have come together and made friends on and off the field. They have a bond cemented by winning the championships and they hope to continue that success.

“We’re all friends, and everyone is super supportive of each other, and they really help each other,” Yuen said.

Cover image courtesy of Abby Yuen


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