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Thursday, March 04, 2010The Lipscomb Bisons and Lady Bisons tennis teams return home to begin conference play on Friday, March 5, at 2 p.m. against Atlantic Sun Conference foe Campbell University.
Saturday morning at 10 the Bisons and Lady Bisons will play USC Upstate.
“It is so exciting that our first conference match of the season is going to be the first ever match on the new courts,” says junior women’s tennis player Kara Jackson.
Not only will the tennis teams be playing at “home” in Nashville, but they will also be playing their first official match on Lipscomb’s courts at the new tennis complex.
“We are definitely excited to be playing on our home courts this spring,” Kristin Lusk, women’s head coach says. “I don’t think it’s truly sunk in yet since we haven’t been able to practice outside much this semester because of the weather. We are also happy to be back home and on campus, and we are so thankful for the beautiful facility.”
The old tennis center was torn down in 2008. After an entire season of playing matches off site, ground was broken on the new facility.
The teams played many away matches during this period, but when needed, the men and women played their matches at various locations throughout Nashville.
Daniel Hangstefer, the only senior on either team, is excited to make his mark on the new courts before graduation.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day for about two years now,” Hangstefer says. “It will be great to play on them, especially since I am a senior.”
With new courts and a new clubhouse to match, Lipscomb’s facility rivals with the best.
“Lipscomb will have one of the nicest facilities in the A-Sun conference once everything is complete,” Lusk says.
Men’s coach Andrew Harris adds, “to play in one of the nicest facilities not just in our conference but in Nashville is extremely encouraging for the guys.”
Both teams were able to practice on the courts during their fall seasons. However, Friday will bring with it the atmosphere of true home court advantage.
"We are ecstatic about getting back out and playing in front of our home crowd,” Harris says. “I think this will be a huge lift for us as our program continues moving forward.”
Not only are the coaches excited, but the players’ enthusiasm to play in front of their home crowd is paramount. The teams hope to transfer the energy of the crowd onto their courts and into their matches.
Lady Bisons sophomore Danielle Hansen says, “We are excited to play in front of a home crowd, and we are looking for a strong turnout.”
In addition to hosting Lipscomb’s tennis teams, the new facility is home of the Lipscomb Racquet Club. Harris is also the director of this new program.
"As with any sport, you must create value within your program,” Harris says. “By the university starting the Lipscomb Racquet Club as the home of the Bisons and Lady Bisons, it allows the whole city of Nashville to be part of what is going on here at Lipscomb.
“Right now we have just over 300 people who are involved with the racquet club. Tennis is a life long sport, and we want to use this facility as a way to create excitement about the game of tennis while also surrounding our players with supporters."
With the addition of this new club, Lipscomb hopes to promote the tennis program and bring in members of the community to support the Bisons and Lady Bisons.
The new facility is located between the soccer and baseball fields on top of the new parking garage.
Written by Ashlan Williams, student assistant in the sports information department.