Duquesne tennis program to host clinic

Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke

On Dec. 16, the Duquesne Athletic Fund announced that the Duquesne men and women’s tennis teams will kick off the first ever Tennis Clinic and Pro-Am on Jan. 17 and 18.

The clinic, which will be held on Friday will involve members of both the men and women’s tennis teams helping children and adults improve their tennis skills. The event will be held at Alpha Tennis and Fitness of Pittsburgh in Harmar, Pa, and will be sponsored by Acri Realty Company, Inc.

On Saturday, the members who signed up for the clinic will compete in a Pro-Am match where they will compete against 24 members from the Duquesne tennis teams. The tournament will be round robin and will be followed by a Chinese and silent auction. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from both days will benefit the tennis programs to make the 2014 season one to remember. The event will help the men’s team travel to North Carolina this year to compete against some of the top schools in America such as Charlotte and South Carolina State.

Senior Pete Carpenter likes the idea of the event and believes it can help in more ways than one.

“It’s great exposure for our team,” Carpenter said. “Hopefully these people who are donating can come out to see some of our matches [to] see that it’s a fun time.”

Corey Robinson agrees.

“I think both days will be a lot of fun especially because anyone can come,” Robinson said. “It is a great way to raise money for the team but it will also help get our name out there.”

In the off-season, the men’s team was introduced to their new coach Rob Gregoire. Gregoire is a graduate of the University of Buffalo and has 24 years of tennis experience under his belt. He is also the owner of Duquesne’s home facility, the Alpha Tennis and Fitness of Pittsburgh.

According to Gregoire, people will learn a lot of new skills at the event.

“We’re basically going to take 36 people, to work on people’s strokes, do some gameplay and point play,” Gregoire said. “All proceeds go to the men’s and women’s teams so it will be a lot of fun.”

As a first year coach, Gregoire has big expectations this year for him and his players.

“My expectation this year is to train to get the team to the Atlantic 10 title,” Gregoire said. “I have guys with a lot of heart and a lot of talent. We are going to start competing for the title this year.”

Carpenter is excited to begin a new journey with Gregoire.

“He’s great,” Carpenter said. “He really revamped our program. We’re hoping to play hard for him and have a good season.”

The clinic Friday will run from 7 to 10 p.m. at night and refreshments will be served after. Registration is first-come first serve and will be limited to 36 players. On Saturday, the Pro-Am matches will begin at 6 p.m. and will go on till 10. Registration will be limited to 24 people. The cost for Friday’s events will be $50 and Saturdays will be $100.

Both teams will open up the spring leg of their seasons on Jan. 24 with the men heading to Detroit to take on the University of Detroit Mercy Titans while the women head to Ohio to take on the Rockets of the University of Toledo.