Innovative Junior Event Takes Over Local College Courts
Alex Wesley, Director of Marketing | April 26, 2018
CAMBRIDGE, MA – In what was the first verifiable Saturday of the outdoor spring season in New England, 32 high school and middle school aged kids descended on the Beren Tennis Center at Harvard University to play in a unique round robin event.
Named a Junior Team Tennis 3 on 3 event, there was a minimum of three players per team with a maximum of six. Players could register with their friends or commit by themselves and be placed on a team when they arrived. The event was only $25 and USTA memberships were not required, so it was open to the public. Players were also guaranteed at least two 30-minute timed matches.
“This was unconventional because your coach wasn’t telling you what you were playing. I got to choose if I was playing singles or doubles and we also got to play so many people,” said Kate Liu, a sophomore at Lincoln-Sudbury High School and player at Longfellow Tennis and Health Club.
Another unique aspect of the event is that it was on one of the most prestigious campuses in the country – Harvard University. Four of the Tennis On Campus (TOC) players for Harvard helped run the event. “I used to play in tournaments in high school. It’s pretty rare to have events like this that bring together players of different ages,” said Daniel Rosenblatt, a sophomore at Harvard University and member of the TOC team.
“We wanted the players to be able to see a college campus while they played this event and watch a varsity college match when they were done playing if they chose to. Many of the players who came are thinking about college in their near future,” said Kristen Liteplo, USTA New England Tennis Service Representative for Eastern Massachusetts and event organizer.
For parents, it was a perfect opportunity for their kids to see what goes on at a college campus while still preparing for spring tennis. “This is a great time of the year to do this event because it’s getting them ready for their high school season. It was nice that my daughter got to sign up with friends and play against many different opponents,” said Jennifer Teitelbaum.
The Franklin Park Tennis Association (FPTA), a Community Tennis Association based in Roxbury, MA brought five high school players and one middle school player to the event. “We brought our whole coaching staff to support the kids. This is great because the kids aren’t playing long matches and it doesn’t take up too much of a Saturday,” said Jeannine Laing, Program Director at FPTA.
For Andre Goodingchavis, a sophomore at South Boston Excel High School, the relaxed atmosphere made the day fun, “This was a golden opportunity for many reasons. I got to play singles and doubles and I got to enjoy a day of tennis with my best friends.”
At the end of the day, one girls team and one boys team were dubbed winners. The winning team on the girls side was comprised of Dorra Guermazi (Newton South High School), Kathryn Burton (Wellesley High School) and Sophia Wax (Newton North High school). The winning boys team was Ben Conviser (Pollard Middle School), Anthony Johnson (Boston Latin Academy) and Naveen Nemalapuri (Malden High School).
There is another 3 on 3 event this Saturday, April 28th at Babson College. To register, email Kristen Liteplo at firstname.lastname@example.org.