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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac tennis programs “just happy” to have true home courts

Aidan Sheedy
The Quinnipiac men’s tennis team debuted the newly installed courts in North Lot with a 6-1 win over Holy Cross on March 12.

 Since April 2021 — when the Quinnipiac university demolished its tennis courts to build the Recreation and Wellness Center — the school’s tennis teams have played at the North Haven Health and Racquet Club, approximately 10 minutes by car and about an hour’s walk from the Mount Carmel Campus.

Last season, the women’s tennis team went undefeated in the MAAC and raised the conference trophy. The men’s team followed them to the tournament, but lost in the semifinals despite a 4-2 record in the conference. Unfortunately, no one was there to see either of the teams dominate.

It took more than two years, but Quinnipiac University officials replaced more than 20% of the North Lot parking lot with six brand new tennis courts over the summer, to the dismay of many commuters but the delight of the players.

It wasn’t an easy road. The Hamden Zoning Board of Appeals blocked the construction of the courts at the original planned location due to the height of the 50-foot light poles, prompting Quinnipiac to withdraw its application in November 2021.

In May 2022, the university officials applied to construct the courts on the North Haven Campus, however due to the pushback from the residents about the potential light, noise and traffic consequences, they withdrew that application as well six months later. So North Lot it was.

But it didn’t come without issues. Some players complained about the courts being slanted. Sal Filardi, vice president for facilities and capital planning, said the university was aware that the work done to the tennis courts “did not meet our expectations” and that the last two courts, five and six, were the worst.

(Aidan Sheedy)

University officials raised these concerns with the contractors before the painting process.

Hard tennis courts should have a one degree slope. The concern was that these courts are sloped at five degrees, which Filardi said was not true. He said there are some ridges on the last two courts. Though Filardi called them “playable” he mentioned that it would be better not to have a competition on those courts.

But because the teams play six singles matches, that is impossible. However, some players are happy with them regardless.

“I love them,” senior Dominique Yeo said. “They fit my style well. I’m so happy with them.”

The courts feature eight light poles which allow the players to continue their matches late into the day, a feature that’s already paying dividends. Freshman Finn Burridge’s game against Siena last Saturday ended after 7:30 p.m.

Along the sides, windscreens adorned with Quinnipiac logos provide little protection against the harsh winds, since the courts have no other protection from trees or other buildings. While rain is enough of a reason to pause or end a match, wind isn’t.

“It was extremely windy,” said women’s head coach Paula Miller Saturday. “It got up to like 35 (mph) and that’s extremely difficult.”

The teams also still use their old plastic scoreboards. However, some players are simply glad to have the home advantage back.

“I’m just happy to have courts, I’m not gonna complain about them, so they’re awesome,” senior Shaurya Sood said, who started his career at Quinnipiac playing on the original Mount Carmel Campus courts.

The teams got some practice time on the new courts in the fall but it wasn’t until their MAAC season started that they returned to them.

But the Bobcats stepped out on the new courts and showed that they were worthy of them. The men’s team has played four opponents on the courts so far, two in the MAAC, easily cruising past all of them. The women’s team had their home opener on Saturday, winning a 4-2 battle against Siena.

Senior Ayato Arakaki celebrates winning a point in a March 30 match against Siena on Quinnipiac’s new tennis courts. (Aidan Sheedy)

The tennis season is short and there aren’t a lot of matches left. The women have two home games left on April 11 and 14, against Bryant and Niagara, respectively. The men’s team will join them in the fight against Niagara at their last home date.

On days that the two tennis teams do not have a match scheduled, the courts are open for recreational use. They are open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and an additional hour on Friday and Saturday.

Filardi declined to answer any additional questions about the total costs, construction process, the lost parking spaces or any additional inquiries.

Even though this season nears the end, Quinnipiac tennis teams will finally have a home court to return to. Now, the players and coaches hope to share it with the rest of the university.

As the men’s head coach Brian Adinolfi said, “you can’t miss them, it’s the courts right in the middle of the parking lot.”

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Alexandra Martinakova, News Editor
Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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