Villanova Club Tennis ‘Nationals’ Recap

Brendan Coughlin, Staff Writer

Last week, Villanova’s Club Tennis team competed in The Tennis on Campus National Championship in Orlando, FL. The team played against seven schools at the tournament, defeating only Southern Methodist University (SMU) on the final day. 


Nationals was held on the National Campus of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The campus offers nearly 100 tennis courts within its 64-acre property. 


“The facility was state of the art,” sophomore singles player Michael Hahn said. “It was just an awesome and sunny environment.”


The event marks the first tournament since the start of the pandemic. The first match kicked off on Thursday, April 7, and the tournament concluded on Saturday, April 9. 


The Nationals Tournament has a reputation for intensity. More than a year ago, the Instagram account for Villanova Recreation described the yearly tournament as “insanely competitive.” The United States Tennis Association boasts that Nationals is “the biggest tournament in collegiate club tennis.”


The co-ed team, which has 86 members, competed with a roster of 10 players against university club teams from across the country. 


The first part of the tournament involved the teams being divided into 16 pools, consisting of four teams per pool. These teams then compete in a “straight round robin” tournament. This involves each team in the pool playing the other teams an equal number of times. How a team places in the pool determines the bracket it will play in at the next stage of the tournament. 


The team in first place competes in the gold bracket, the team in second plays in the silver, the team in third plays in the bronze bracket and the team in last competes in the copper bracket. 


After three hard fought matches, the Villanova team failed to attain any victories over the other teams in their pool: Colorado, Florida and Ohio State. Villanova was subsequently placed in the copper bracket.


“The teams played exceptional tennis,” Hahn said. “The competition was fierce.”


The copper bracket was a multilevel tournament which, as opposed to single elimination tournaments, allows teams that have lost to continue playing in conciliation rounds. 


Villanova was defeated by Appalachian State in the first round of the copper bracket. In the first consolation round, the team suffered another loss at the hands of American University. During its last game in the tournament, Villanova triumphed over Southern Methodist University, 26-11.


“It was a valiant effort,” Hahn said. “I was truly impressed by what we were able to do.” 


The end of the tournament marks the conclusion of the club’s season. The team will return in the fall semester to recruit potential players from the class of 2026.