Club spotlight: Tennis team


Samuel Beaumonte , Staff Reporter

This fall quarter marks the 10-year anniversary of the tennis club, which was created by Central alumni AnnElise Anderson.

Anderson created the club because of her passion for the game.

“I played tennis for a lot of my life, and wanted a chance to play in college but since Central didn’t have a collegiate team I had to start a club,” said Anderson, Pacific Northwest coordinator for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). “I reached out the to the USTA at my freshman orientation and had it setup by September and enough players recruited to compete by that October.”

Central can’t afford to have a varsity team in every sport, so many teams have to rely on maintaining a club to fund practices and competitions.

Anderson had to start from scratch 10 years ago, but was able to get some support from the previous USTA Pacific Northwest coordinator, Mark Poppee.

“It was definitely like a second job, going out to recruit people, but the USTA has a pretty good system,” Anderson said. “In my last two years we were able to go to nationals, which was a pretty big thing to have enough people and money to qualify. It felt like a second job, but when you’re passionate about something, it makes it all worth it.”

Even though Anderson graduated from Central five years ago, her position at the USTA allows her to stay involved with the club.

“Seeing that these kids get to travel, compete and form bonds is great,” she said. “None of the people on the team are people that I knew when I was there, but it’s nice to still be involved with the Central team. It’s fun for me to see the team going strong and playing together.”


For students just coming into Central looking for a tennis team, the switch from a high school experience to the club can take some time to get used to.

“It’s more laid back and not as stressful as high school,” freshman Grace Stiles said. “In high school, we had practice every weekday and sometimes on the weekend if we didn’t have a match. For the club, we normally hold practice two times a week.”

Aside from practice times, the atmosphere and way practices are run are very different for those fresh out of high school as well. The way that student’s practice and how it’s held is different for every club but for the majority it’s expected to be student run.

“The officer’s and more experienced students normally run the drills,” Stiles said. “In high school I was a captain, but we never ran drills. We just listened to what the coach told us to do.”

Since Central’s tennis team is setup as a club, it limits the chances for competition.

“We only play against other club teams, such as [Washington], [Oregon State], and Gonzaga,” sophomore Nick Paulay said, who works as the practice coordinator for the tennis team. “For the most part, we get invited to tournaments and social invites in Yakima.”

Despite the limitation and tendency to travel for competition, Central will be hosting two tennis matches this upcoming spring. The dates have yet to be determined.