The Terrier tennis team of Head Coach Rod Ray, Captain Scott ‘The Collinaitor’ Collins, Paul ‘The Predator’ Bartholomy, Alan ‘The Animal’ Donald, Michael ‘The Psychopath’ Schecter, Danny ‘Manchild’ Manlow, Stuart ‘Rat Boy’ Robertson and Tinus ‘The Tribesman’ Van Wyk made the long bus ride to Boca Raton, Florida on Thursday 29 January. The Terriers were set to face two strong Florida teams- the Florida Atlantic Owls and the Barry Buccaneers.
After a gruelling 11 hour bus ride, we touched down in sunny (and very windy) Florida and prepared to hit downtown Miami for a heavy night on the town. As if. Instead, we arrived at Patch Reef Park tennis Centre for a team practice at the home of the Owls.
After a solid night’s sleep, we were ready to take on the FAU owls- Locally known as the ‘Dirty Birds’! We kicked off the doubles with lots of intensity and thanks to a convincing 8-2 win from the duo of Collins and Van Wyk, we were in with a chance of snatching the doubles point. Unfortunately, Manlow and Robertson were unable to capitalise and we fell behind 1-0 after the doubles. Our spirits were not dampened and after positive words from Coach Ray, the singles line-up of Collins, Robertson, Bartholomy, Van Wyk, Donald and Schecter were still very much in with a chance. A lesson on ‘how to serve out of a tree’ from sophomore Alan ‘The Animal’ Donald gave us renewed hope as Donald’s 6-4, 7-6 victory put us at 1-3 overall. Another singles victory from Tribesman Tinus Van Wyk shortened the deficit to 2-3 with only Schecter and Robertson remaining for the Terriers. Unfortunately, we were unable to clinch a close fought match in the #2 singles position as ‘The Kiwi’ Stuart Robertson fell in a close third set. Our first match in South Florida ended in a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Dirty Birds of FAU.
A rest from competition on Saturday gave us the chance to get in a good practice in the morning, and more importantly allowed us to show off all our hard work in the gym on the fantastic South Florida beaches! After a quality practice and some down time on the beach, we were well and truly ready to take on Barry University, ranked #2 in Div II.
At 7.30 am on Sunday morning, we departed the hotel and headed towards Miami to take on the Buccaneers, also known as the ‘Bunnies’. We arrived in Miami Shores with high hopes and excitement at taking on another great college team. In doubles action, we fell at the number 1 and 2 positions, before the Predator Bartholomy and Donald put in a big performance to win 8-4 at number 3. The same singles line-up that battled FAU faced off against the Bucs. In the #1 singles position, Captain Collins fell in a hard fought contest. Robertson, Donald and Schecter all forced their opponents to a tie break in the first set but were unable to convert their hard work into a victory. Despite some great tennis from all of our players, the Bunnies came out on top by an 8-1 margin.
This concluded our play in South Florida and after another much needed raid on Subway, we left the palm trees behind and headed back to the comparatively arctic temperatures of Spartanburg and Wofford! We all thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the tough competition that it presented and we’re definitely a better team than we were prior to the trip. Bring on the SoCon!