When Purdue University North Central student Allyson Trevino enrolled at PNC, she noticed that the university did not have a tennis team or tennis club.
The former Crown Point High School tennis player missed the sport and the camaraderie that came with it.
Fellow student Anastasia Arndt, of LaPorte, also played high school tennis and wanted to continue playing the sport that she’s enjoyed since age 5.
The Pre-Pharmacy majors know other PNC students who enjoyed playing tennis, so they formed the PNC Tennis club this fall to give them the opportunity to share the sport.
Club members do not have to be expert or long-time tennis players.
“We just like to get together to play and have fun,” said Trevino, the club president. “We have some beginners and we teach them the basics. You can see the improvement in many of our newer players.”
During the fall semester the club had about 25 members. They play singles and doubles – everything is fun and casual. Arndt has accumulated a number of racquets through the years and she willingly shares those with those who may not have one yet.
R.J. Dudash said that he played tennis while in elementary school and admitted he was “horrible” and was more concerned with how far he could hit the ball. His friendship with Trevino and Arndt led him to join the club.
“It sounded fun,” he said. His game, he claims, has improved and he’s made some new friends, too.
Arju Patel grew up in an athletic family, so playing tennis is a way for her to keep active. The native of India laughed when she noted that she comes from a family of avid cricket players, but she has yet to find anyone who plays that sport at at PNC.
“When I came to PNC I didn’t know anyone, but it was easy to meet people,” she said. “It seems that everyone is so nice.”
These club members have varied interests. Trevino played soccer in high school and is a member of the PNC Math and Multicultural clubs and volunteers at St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point. Arndt is in a number of campus clubs, she also tutors, is a 4-H leader, Girl Scout leader and hospital volunteer as well. Patel also belongs to the Math Club and Multicultural clubs and formerly volunteered at a nursing home. Dudash ran cross country in high school and he played in the marching band.
Both endeavors, he said, gave him a sense of discipline that has helped him with the rigors of college.
When asked, Trevino said her favorite tennis player is Roger Federer, an opinion that quickly brought nods of agreement from other club members.
The Tennis Club has attracted students of varying backgrounds and interests. Their majors include Nursing, engineering, Communication, Education and Pre-Pharmacy.
“Our members have a great mix of ideas and interests,” said Trevino. “We have some great conversations.”
When the club members get together their lively banter is punctuated by laughter and good-natured teasing. Their friendships usually spill over to the tennis courts where the more experienced players help out the beginners.
However, as the players enhance their skills games get more serious. Ultimately, the club would like to play against teams from other colleges and universities.
“We’ve started small, but have plans to grow,” said Patel.
Further information about the club can be obtained by contacting Trevino at firstname.lastname@example.org.