Kathy Logan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ursinus’ Women’s and Men’s tennis teams received news before coming to campus, from their Coach Pete Smith, that Ursinus’ tennis courts were unplayable for the fall and spring, the team’s prime season. The tennis courts indeed looked in disarray when observed, with multiple cracks on almost every court, nets missing, and plant life growing from underneath the surface. The condition on the courts was a major disappointment to the team.
Director of Ursinus Athletics, Laura Moliken, said that cracks, of various sizes and lengths, could pose a danger to those playing on the courts. She went on to explain that cracks in the court had been repaired in 2015 but made a return over the summer of 2021, as a result of wear and tear. She then explained that a repair is not possible and that instead, Ursinus needs brand new courts.
When asked about Ursinus’ plan to address the situation, Moliken said, “We (Athletics) are working with Steve Gehringer, director of facilities, to contact vendors who can help us better determine the overall needs for the courts and the timeline. The goal is to work towards building new courts next summer.” Ursinus will need to nail down vendors and devise a specific timeline for court repairs.
Coach Smith has coached the Men’s team since 2007 and the Women’s team since 2014. He said the courts have had issues since last spring and the Director of Facilities examined the courts’ conditions. Additionally, the school consulted engineering experts before Coach Smith was notified over the summer that they were unplayable.
Despite the disappointment that comes with being unable to practice/hold matches at Ursinus, Coach Smith believes that Ursinus acted appropriately. The safety of Ursinus’ tennis players and anyone using the courts is of the utmost importance.
The plan moving forward, said Coach Smith, is for both Ursinus teams to play on Perkiomen High School’s 12-court set for the fall. Perkiomen High School is only a few miles down the road, making travel for tennis players not too difficult. “While it certainly is not as convenient as practicing at our own home courts, it is clearly the next-best option right now,” he concluded.