Clubbing the green ball

Even if you’re no Andre Agassi or Anna Kournikova, I’m sure thatafter seeing Luke Wilson’s character in “The Royal Tenenbaums” youwanted to pick up the racket just to justify sporting a hotsweatband. Fortunately for you, Portland State students can. Tennisis one of the 25 club sports offered at PSU.

Club tennis is designed not only for die-hard players but alsofor beginners who covet Kournikova’s look without having picked upa racket. The club offers both casual and competitive tennis. Thecost is low, but the results are rich in return: just $15 a term or$35 a year covers the cost of balls and travel.

The team meets Monday and Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. eachweek on the rooftop tennis courts in the Peter Stott Center on PSUcampus.

Club tennis at PSU competes against other schools in the region,including Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Universityof Washington, Lewis and Clark and Willamette.

The Portland State Tennis Club recently joined tennis clubs fromall over the Pacific Northwest in the USA Team Tennis Dawg Brawl inthe Nordstrom Tennis Center. Portland State took third in the DawgBrawl tournament and second in the club cup.

Andy Minor, PSU team captain, ran a fundraiser for hisclub and for USA Wheelchair Tennis in 2004. Minor led the way ashis club hosted a Professional Tennis Registry certificationworkshop. As a result, six students received certification and anopportunity to become tennis professionals. He also led his team tovictory at the USA Team Tennis Viking Showdown last term inBellingham, Wash.

“The tennis club is starting to pick up a lot. We have beenreceiving more active membership this term and I think its willimprove more next year as well,” said new men’s team coordinatorMark Simpson. “We will be starting up again next year and arelooking for more people. Everyone is welcome to come out.”

If you are looking for some lessons, PSU recently joined theUnited States Tennis Association (USTA) and is working withcommunity tennis coordinator Mark Toppe.

Toppe organized a special PSU Tennis Club event and hired protennis player Shaun Ball to help out. Ball has been offering tennislessons to students in the Portland area with all levels of skill.Ball is at the Stott Center every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 p.m.and is teaching drills and hitting as well as co-ed rec. play. Theprice is $5 per night or $20 for all 7 nights.

The event ends June 1 and Alex Accetta, club sports advisor atPortland State, is planning to host them again. “It’s the firsttime we have done something like this and it has gone really well,”commented Accetta. “The tennis program has really taken off thisyear and with Portland State recently joining the USTA we areexcited to see what will happen in the future.”

If you are interested in wearing that sweatband and working onyour tennis skill, contact Mark Simpson at [email protected] call 503-317-4799. Also available to answer queries is LoriBokovoy, [email protected] or call 952-237-3520.