The season has started smoothly for UCD Tennis with the new committee finding their feet amidst the baptism of fire that is balancing college and a club or society. Despite the graduation of a number of elite senior players in the last academic year the teams are stepping up to the challenge and performing remarkably well. ‘The Floodlight League’ is the primary focus for UCD’s teams this semester and that results so far have been very encouraging.
The ladies’ first team have started remarkably well, ratcheting up three wins from three thus far. The teams’ doubles pairing has won all of their matches whilst two-time Fed Cup player, Lauren Deegan has dispatched of all her opponents on the singles court in dominant fashion.
The men’s teams have battled gallantly against quality opposition and have part-taken in some epic encounters. The battling qualities and all-round resilience of the UCD players was epitomised by the performance of Eoin Donoghoe in match-week 2. Donohoe, our esteemed social officer, secured a valuable point for UCD despite being unable to put weight on his ankle during the match having strained it playing tag rugby just hours beforehand! The best-placed of the men’s teams at the midway stage of ‘The Floodlight league’ is the Class 2 team, who sit just a point off a playoff placing. Meanwhile, the class 3 and class 4 teams will be confident of securing the big victories needed to resurrect their promotion hopes.
Overall, there is evidence of ever improving strength- in- depth in UCD in the last number of years, exemplified by the strong showings of our lower-ranked teams. The strong performances of our Class 3 and 4 consortium, despite the departure of a number of players to the workforce and graduate life, indicates the broad talent pool in the Belfield confines.
This week represents a make or break week for the Men’s and Women’s teams as they both need wins to progress further in the competition. Club stalwart Shane Bergin is available for selection this week as he arrives back for a number of days from his Erasmus in Nantes, France. To quote him “You can take the man out of UCD Tennis, but you can’t take the UCD Tennis out of the man”. All joking aside, the strong sense of community we are nurturing in UCD Tennis is crucial to what we do, and ensures the club has a good social aspect and is an inclusive environment for all involved. We want to encourage all levels from beginners who have never played, to those who have played when they were younger, to the top players to join the club and engage with one of the biggest sports Clubs in UCD. Upcoming events include our annual Colours match vs Trinity College Dublin on November 16th which is sure to be a fierce contest. Aoife Tonna-Barthet’s ladies team go in as favourites having won Inter-Varsities the last 3 years running. The Men are underdogs but with the club spirit encapsulated by Shane Bergin’s words, we are confident we can cause an upset.
By Sam Totterdell – UCD Tennis Captain