For several years, the Carnegie Mellon University tennis team has seen great success on the court and in the classroom. Eleven Tepper School undergraduate students are sharing in this legacy.
The Carnegie Mellon women’s tennis team has qualified for the NCAA tournament every year for the past 10 years, and in 2010 the men’s team advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Both teams have qualified for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Indoor National Tournament several times in recent years.
“I knew that if I were going to play tennis in college, I wanted to play for a team that was going to be competing at the top level. We have certainly done so in my time on the Carnegie Mellon team,” said Bryn Raschke, senior business administration and statistics major and captain of the women’s team.
Each year, members from both teams are consistently honored as Scholar Athletes. For these students, the key to success is time management and dedication. “Carnegie Mellon students tend to be very independent, which helps us to manage our schedules as athletes,” said Raschke.
“Balancing school and tennis is a challenging but rewarding feat. My passion for the game definitely makes the process easier because I view practice as a privilege as opposed to a chore,” said sophomore economics and statistics major and member of the men’s tennis team, Kunal Wadwani.
But there is a process that each student must go through in order to perfect this balancing act. While some turn to older teammates – and their coach, MBA candidate Andrew Girard – as role models, others find support from classmates outside of the team, who also lead busy lives filled with clubs, case competitions and classes.
Raschke also pays credit to support from the Tepper School community. “Our academic advisor, Stephen Pajewski, has come to watch some of our home matches, which has been awesome!”
In the coming weeks, the men’s and women’s tennis teams will travel to Claremont, California to compete against several top-tier Division 3 teams. The spring break competition trip will include five matches for the men’s team and four for the women’s. The results of these matches will factor into their national ranking and partially determine whether they are admitted into the NCAA tournament at the end of the season.
In order to enable all members to participate in the trip for the first time, both teams hosted a successful crowdfunding campaign. The teams reached their initial goal in the first few days thanks to support from their families, friends and Carnegie Mellon tennis team alumni. They are now raising funds towards an extended goal of $18,806.
Donate to the team’s campaign.