Weekly Blog (Nov. 13-Nov. 19)
Nov. 14, 2006
The inaugural “Smash Bash,” the women’s tennis team’s effort to reach out to Wolfpack fans, was a big hit on Saturday, attracting more than 50 participants to the Isenhour Tennis Complex.
Each of the participants received a “Game. Set. Pack” T-shirt, which they are all encouraged to wear to matches this spring to give the team a boost during competition.
The members of the team were thrilled with the enthusiasm of the participants as they visited the seven stations we set up on the 11 courts of the J.W. Isenhower Tennis Complex. The players mingled with the participants, gave some tennis instruction and even played points with the students, teachers and fellow varsity athletes who came to show their support for our program. And we certainly don’t want to forget Mr. and Ms. Wuf, who had a spirited match on one of the outdoor courts.
In the final 30 minutes of the two-hour demonstration, women’s head coach Hans Olsen capped the event with a demonstration of how to cheer for a college tennis match. With about 25 participants on each side of Court 3, four varsity players met for a brief doubles match. The participants were urged to cheer in a respectful yet rowdy fashion for the team on their side of the court. For two games, there was the perfect blend of sound and presence of cheering tennis fans.
Olsen and assistant coach Mait DuBois could not choose just one Most Valuable Fan, so instead they selected two males and two females for this honor. The winners were awarded based on their involvement throughout the day, especially for their whole-hearted cheering during doubles play. These winners received tennis racquets, Club O2 Fitness memberships, NC State paraphernalia and more.
The winners included sophomore Josh Collins, a biological physiology major; freshman Josh Broadway, a member of first-year college; senior Megan Sadler, a sports management major; and Julie Lofty, an employee with FCAIA, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Action.
Overall, every participant left with a new established relationship with the tennis team and the coaching staff.
“It was an unbelievable event,” Coach Olsen said. “I feel that we have created a successful fan base that we can just continue to grow from. And what turned out to be a measuring stick for the event was the large number of participants who stayed after 1 p.m. to play more tennis, both with each other and with Wolfpack players.”
Coach DuBois supported Coach Olsen’s sentiments.
“With the progress the team is making each year on the court, having supportive fans means a lot to our program.”
After the event, the varsity tennis family was able to personally welcome and thank them for coming to the event as well as encourage them to continue to support the program by wearing their “Game. Set. Pack.” T-shirts when the tennis team starts back up again for their competitive spring season on January 21, 2007.
Posted by Allison Barry, media relations student assistant, 6:57 p.m., 11/14/2006