With the addition of two new courts, the dedication of the Mark Rosewell Tennis Center and all tennis facilities being resurfaced, the Northwest tennis team is seeing huge impact with both a rise in interested athletes and a growing fanbase.
As the 2018-19 season came to a close, plans to further develop the tennis facilities at Northwest were a major priority, not only for the future of the tennis team, but also for the improvement of campus life overall. After the No. 24-ranked women's team finished their 2019 campaign with a loss in the quarterfinals against No. 6 University of Indianapolis, the amount of attention brought to the Northwest team was notable.
“As a team, we’re competitive,” sophomore Fabien Calloud said. “I think that brings a lot of recruits. We’ve got a good group this season, the past few years actually, and I think that brings a lot of attention. People that want to play tennis at a high level can compete here at Northwest and that’s good for us.”
Just as success is starting to come from both the men’s and women’s teams, much of Northwest’s tennis facilities were renovated to accommodate the growing program and an increase in interest for the sport.
While two additional courts, an athlete shed and resurfaced facilities were all added before the 2019-20 season, better lighting and spectator seating are still in the works to improve the setting.
These plans to further improve the tennis facilities have not only brought attention from the outside community and possible future athletes, but the athletes themselves feel as though these improvements show just how invested and supportive of the University is in one of its up-and-coming programs.
“I think, not only have they brought attention to tennis, but they’ve brought it to most all the sports,” Rosewell said. “I’m really happy. And really, we’re moving in the right direction with this university. Not only in athletics but in other areas too.”
Although tennis is a small but growing sport, certain areas of support like what have been seen here at Northwest help to grow the backing and interest in the sport. Knowing this, when the University brings in donations for the program it not only draws attention to the sport but it also allows future athletes, spectators and the student body to see how updated the facilities are compared to years past.
For many of the students at Northwest, the facilities on campus are next to none. The new additions for the tennis team are just the start of improving all aspects of campus, not only for student-athletes, but for the entire student body.
“We get lights and people like to recreate. I’m talking about people in the community; they'll come out and play tennis,” Rosewell said. “We have a lot of students that come out, not only intramurals but those that just like to play the game. We’re even talking about some advanced seating down the line.”
While further improvements and new additions are being discussed down the line, the current renovations help to show how the University backs its student-athletes in all sports. With many colleges, their top tier sports like football and basketball are the ones taking in all donations and facilities but Northwest has shown that it plans to support and continue to further the facilities across all areas.
“It’s very nice to have Northwest back us up in athletics and the school and everything,” Calloud said. “They’re invested in sports, especially in our sport, tennis. One of the sports that we’ve seen in other universities that have got cut because of that. We’re happy to have investments and the support of Northwest continue in the tennis program.”