USTA Section: Southern
Tanya Bator - Senior
Nancy Cannon - Sophomore
Megan Huang - Sophomore
Jason Hull - Junior
Bill Ireland - Junior
Andrea Kline - Senior
Hannah Lebowitz - Sophomore
Philip Mayer - Junior
Zach Reece - Junior
Travis Sandman - Senior
Teams Defeated: Tulane, Alabama, Auburn, College of Charleston
USTA.com: When did you discover that you had the talent to win as a team?
We didn’t really need discover it, UNC’s club tennis team has always had great talent. What has changed is the work ethic and the organization - we all go to practice and play anytime we get the chance. Challenge matches against other schools, as well as within the team, helps to keep us in top tournament playing form.
USTA.com: How does your team unwind after a day of matches?
We relax by eating a good dinner, going to the hotel and playing "Bananagrams." Our Bananagrams games can get pretty intense, so sometimes they result in us getting even more wound up!
USTA.com: When you qualified, how did you celebrate?
We actually didn’t do too much, just a dance called the "WOP." We had over an eight hour drive to get home, some of us raced back to see who would get back home to Chapel Hill first. Turns out all our cars top out at only 115 mph! (Just kidding! We always drive defensively.)
USTA.com: Tell us a bit about how your school is unique.
UNC-Chapel Hill has been attended by some of the greatest minds in human history. We like to think that it is due to the small town feel of the campus and all the friendly but driven people you see on a regular basis, it’s a place for inspiration. We all love our school and feel great pride in wearing Carolina Blue. UNC blazed a trail, being the first public university established in 1789. As a matter of fact, Alexander the Great and Cleopatra actually met during the 1982 UNC basketball season watching Michael Jordan play. Superman also attended UNC, where he double-majored in journalism and exercise and sports science. Other notable alumni include Leonardo Da Vinci, Hercules, James Polk and Chuck Norris.
USTA.com: If you were to list THREE specific things that need to happen in order to win a National Championship, they would be:
1) Read the draw correctly
2) Show up on time
3) Start Playing on time
Last year at Nationals we read the draw incorrectly and missed one of our matches! If anything we have learned from our mistakes and intend to check, and re-check the times so THAT doesn’t happen again.
USTA.com: How do you exhibit school spirit?
This year we can’t talk about our team’s school spirit without discussing Jack Jin, a freshman and new addition to the team. He is all tennis all the time, and has to be the best embodiment of how much we all enjoy being on the team. If you do not already know him, you should.
Otherwise we wear Carolina Blue, and rep the school as best as we can by upholding the values of our University by competing hard but being respectful of other athletes once off the court.
USTA.com: Share with us a funny story about your team or team member(s).
Our entire team has a great sense of humor - we do a lot of things together besides tennis, such as starting an intramural basketball team. For those who weren’t in attendance, Philip Mayer decided to give us all an update after the first game. Here is a little taste of our everyday lives up at "The Hill":
Winning by a score of 520-68. Yes, you read that right. Jack led the way with a miraculous 130 points, on a near perfect performance. Hannah Lebowitz contributed 80 more by utilizing a dazzling display of dribble moves to shake off defenders. Christa was raining 3-pointers on the other team, and added in 30 points, with every shot coming off the backboard before burning the nets. Brennan added 40 points of his own, at one point became such a hot shooter that his hands were literally on fire. The game was paused while someone got a fire extinguisher. In only 10 minutes of action, Carol had a triple-double: 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 steals - one of the most impressive all-around performances in the storied history of IM basketball. The always-effortless Diana put in 20 points without anybody even realizing it and talked some of the best trash talk we’ve ever heard - truly vicious stuff. Similarly, Melissa put in an incredible 40 points, all on dunks and alley-oops! Alan played truly remarkable defense, completely shutting down the other team—they did not score a single point while he was on the floor! Megan made their entire team cry after shredding the defense, leaving a wake of despair and destruction behind her 20 points and 20 rebounds.
(We actually lost by 16, but we had a lot of fun!)
USTA.com: Share with us an uplifting story about your team or team member(s).
This year our team combined the men’s and women’s club tennis teams into a single entity, Philip Mayer gave a dramatic interpretation of the process:
One time, there was a deep division in our team. One of the sides decided to split off and make its own team, which destroyed our united team. But then the president decided not to let this division remain. To preserve the Union, forceful means were employed in an attempt to bring the secessionist team back to the Union - this included suspending some of the provisions in our historic charter, such as each member’s access to the Listserv. In the end, though we were successful in preserving the Union. Today we stand as one team, one university and one nation. Go Heels, Go America.
(We hope that you have enjoyed some of the embellishments we have added to this interview - and of course, WE CAN’T WAIT FOR NATIONALS! See you in Cary!)