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Tennis on Campus Southern Championship

Eight teams from four South Carolina schools will compete at the 2014 USTA Tennis On Campus Southern Section Championships this weekend. The annual championship will be held at the Yarbrough Tennis Center in Auburn, Ala.

Representing South Carolina are two teams from the following schools: Clemson University, College of Charieston, Furman University and University of South Carolina. Last November, USC won the USTA South Carolina State Tennis On Campus Championship.

We asked each team president a few questions about this weekend's championship. Responses from USC and Clemson are below.

Q: What are you and your team most looking forward to this weekend? Why?

USC Team President Lauren Armstrong: We have been so excited about this weekend since last semester! After our performance at the Fall Invitational in Hilton Head, we knew we were on the right track to getting to Nationals, our main goal for this year. We are all very competitive and love the game of tennis, so we are really looking forward to some close, intense matches against the other teams. All of us get really into each matches and want to win more than anything, so we love coming to this tournament to give it all we've got. We enjoy this tournament for the social aspect as well - it's so fun to meet people who all share a love for the game, and each tournament we go to makes us closer as a team, something that we feel is a big part of being successful in Club Tennis. 

Clemson Team President DJ Karasik: As is the case with every tournament we play in, our team is excited to have the opportunity to have a blast playing tennis and to represent Clemson University.

Q: Predictions on how your team will do?

USC: The whole team has been practicing really hard to get ready for this tournament, and everyone is incredibly optimistic about performing well and getting a bid to Nationals. Even though we are not regulars at Nationals, we are not a team to overlook. We love being the underdogs, and this weekend we are going to show that we all have the skills and the drive to be the best. All we are hoping for is a Top 5 finish so we can finally get the chance to show what we've got at Nationals. I am very confident in my team and absolutely think we will come out victorious this weekend.

Clemson: I expect both our A and B teams to be extremely competitive this weekend. There are a lot of great teams that will be competing this weekend, and I consider our team to be one of them. The mixture of veterans and talented underclassman our team has should allow us to contend for a top 5 finish, which would result in qualification to the National Championship.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Tennis On Campus in general? How come?

USC: Tennis on Campus is the best thing to ever happen to college students who are not able to play on their respective Varsity teams. It allows people who have been playing competitive tennis their whole lives to continue doing so, except this time with a team who is behind you every step of the way. It is really the best feeling in the world when you win a big point or hit a great shot and all of your team members scream and cheer for you, wanting you to win just as badly as you want to win. This is something that you don't get to experience in junior tennis, as it is just you against everyone else, and it makes the experience so much better knowing that you are playing for a team that relies on every single game won by every single person on the team. I have made many of my best friends being on this team and love being able to spend time with them both on and off the court, so that is probably my favorite part about Tennis on Campus.

Clemson: Tennis On Campus great is because it allows us to continue to play tennis at a high level and as a part of a team. I think we have a particularly close knit team, which translates to success on the court as well making life at Clemson that much more enjoyable for everyone.

Q: What else would you like to add?


Clemson: This weekend we hope to continue the success we had last semester and already this semester. While we have not won any tournaments, we have finished a close second, falling to Auburn in the final of both the Georgia State Championship and again this past weekend in a tournament hosted by the University of Tennessee. Our runner up performance in the South Carolina State Championship was also hard to swallow.