- Ella Gaffke
What’s all the Racket? New tennis courts coming to Olivet College
The construction of new tennis courts next to the Cutler Athletic Center brings new potential to the tennis program at Olivet College. The courts are expected to be finished within the school year.
This addition is one that has been long awaited. In the past the tennis teams have practiced at Marshall High School in Marshall and Minges Creek in Battle Creek. Olivet tennis player Kennedy Karns, senior, said, “I think it will be so much nicer to practice on campus rather than having to drive 40 minutes to an hour every day to get to courts.”
Thayne Bilicki, sophomore on the men’s tennis team, said, “I’m super excited to not have to drive and waste gas money.”
Having courts that are on campus also provides other advantages such as recruiting and building a stronger tennis program. “I think that it will help with recruiting as we are trying to build back the tennis team,” said Karns.
The elimination of travel team for the tennis program allows for more time on the courts. “This will open us up for longer practice times and more individualized training between players and myself during the day,” said tennis Coach Brandon Ralston.
The courts also give Olivet a step up from other teams in the conference. “We will also have the newest courts in the conference, and I am looking forward to capitalizing on this moment in OC tennis history to bring in a large class that can help lead the program,” said Ralston.
The courts were made possible by a multitude of people. “We are incredibly thankful to Tom Kolassa for financing the tennis courts and the entire athletic department for making this happen,” said Ralston.
The courts also open the doors for recreational tennis for Olivet students. “I can now play tennis recreationally with my friends,” said Bilicki. New courts will add a lot to athletics at OC and bring a sense of excitement.
Photos by Ella Gaffke and Joanne Williams.