Students Set Up Tennis on Campus Teams
Despite a strange year in the world of higher education, the USTA’s Tennis on Campus program continues to grow. Two schools in the USTA Heart of America district are working towards adding Tennis on Campus teams: Benedictine, led by Karina Scheller, and the University of Missouri - Kansas City, led by Sean Nguyen.
Scheller, a senior at Benedictine, originally hails from Albuquerque, N.M. She has played tennis since eighth grade, but missed having the opportunity to stay active with tennis when she started college. During her sophomore year, she co-founded a club tennis team and has been working since then to register as an official Tennis on Campus team.
“I’ve always enjoyed being a part of a team,” Scheller said. “We really had hopes to have a club team, so we got it started.”
In just two years, Scheller has seen vast success. When the club was announced, nearly 60 people expressed interest. Since then, it has been developed into a structured organization.
“We loved to see that there were so many people interested in playing,” she said. “It was such a positive experience.”
Nguyen is a USTA Heart of America native and has been on the tennis scene since he was in elementary school. He was recently announced as the recipient of the Stephanie Waterman Foundation Junior Sportsmanship Award.
“Tennis is much more than a game to me, it’s something that runs in my blood,” Nguyen said. “It’s helped me make so many new connections and has taught me so many life lessons.”
When UMKC announced last year that they would be cutting its men’s tennis program, Nguyen decided to take action.
“When I saw that the men’s program got cut, I felt bad for them,” he said. “I thought that there must be some way around it.”
He, like Scheller, immediately got to work in forming a Tennis on Campus team for UMKC. Using past experiences of organizing and directing, he was able to expedite the process.
While neither team has been able to play in official Tennis on Campus events yet due to COVID-19, because of Scheller and Nguyen they will be set for years to come.