Division 3 College Tennis Experiences

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by willyd24, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. willyd24

    willyd24 New User

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    I've grown up around tennis my whole life as my dad has been a teacher for about 18 years. I didn't really get serious about it till freshmen year of high school but have since become a USTA Tournament competitor. Next year I will be attending an in-state Division 3 school where I will most likely play for the team because I love to play the game and would love to compete at the collegiate level. I've been looking online for people talking about there experiences playing Division 3 Tennis but sadly have found nothing. I was wondering if anyone had any stories about what they enjoyed about playing Division 3 and what the overall experience was like.
    Thank You!
     
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  2. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    I am going to a d3 school next year too. Can't comment on my experiences yet but I'm looking forward to continuing my philosophy of academics first tennis second. The team is great and I think not having to travel week in and week out will be good for me.
     
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  3. grouseking

    grouseking New User

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    There's a blog devoted just to Division III tennis: http://www.division3tennis.com/. Like all of the divisions, DIII is very vast in terms of the quality of experience and level of competitiveness.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Back in my playing days in the late '70's, my doubles partner's and practice buds were No's 1 and 2 for CCSF, SFState, and No4 for CanadaCollege.
    Maybe mid level B, or 4.5's, often played Open tourneys
     
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  5. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    dang you must be like 65 O_O
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Actually, 2 weeks shy of 64.
    Dexter just retired as garderner for UCMedCenter on Parnassus.
    Ran into a old bud of ours, who now strings at that tennis shop near Ashby and Shattuck in Berkeley. He was #4 on our BATL B team back then, I was #6, Dexter 1, and StanleyWoo #2.
     
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Which college did Dexter play for?
     
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  8. Kenny022593

    Kenny022593 Professional

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    Look back through my post history.

    The sad truth is, you may think you will play on the team because you love the game and are willing to work hard and do everything you need to, but there is still a very big chance of you getting cut. We had about ten kids try out for the team this year. A lot of them gave the reason you gave for trying out. They love the game, they have the desire to improve. The thing is, those two things are great to have, but it goes way beyond that. It even goes beyond having a solid base of skills to play with. It is knowing how to play and what to do. I am not saying don't try or get down on yourself. Go in and try as hard as possible and kill it. Make an impression on the coach and the rest of the team and if you don't make it, you don't make it. There is always a next time.
     
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  9. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    oh man, this is the topic i've been waiting years for! grab some popcorn and a seat...

    ...i played d3 tennis for 3 years at a small liberal arts college in the 90s. the other guys on my team ranged for high school stand outs to converted football players (you have not lived until you've played a 324 pound pusher!!!!!!). i was somewhere in the middle between these extremes. i grew up in a small town that didn't have hs tennis so i played a couple of county tourneys before college and hit with a bunch of people and that was it! i could outplay the football guys but the high school guys always beat me and took my lunch money. there was also quite a bit of variety in the way that guys played too. our number one was just lights out. big serve, big groundies off both sides, great movement, good at the net. another guy who was always in the top three had a kick serve that could hit the fence after it bounced inside the service box. his forehand was really spinny too and he hit a slice backhand. our courts had seams on the serve lines and baselines which caused any shot that hit them to bounce straight up. in 3 years, i had 3 different coaches, each of whom was a different degree of quasi-functional alcoholic, which is why our number 1/ team captain ran practices and did the actual hands on coaching while our usually enibreated coach would put the hopper down and pass out under a tree. there was a bit of variety in our competition too. a number of the school's were pretty close to us. there was one school which was quite a bit worse than us (the football players were even winning sets). and then, there was one school in our conference which recruited students from around the globe. one year their number one was a dude from nigeria and he was crazy good (of course it makes more sense after watching the tennis channel special about the dude from uganda). they always smoked everyone in our conference. but i do remember our cappy took a set off the guy from nigeria and their coach just lit into him on a changeover! man, that was funny because we all hated that coach. he was a wanker! one year at the conference tournament, after his player was down a couple of breaks early in the first set, goes up to the opposing player and tells him that his vibration damper is illegal and if he doesn't remove it immediately, he will be dq-ed. i can tell you for a fact that he knew during warm-ups the dude's damper was illegal because a group of us heard him say it outloud during warmups but he intentionally waited until his player was in trouble before he said anything to the guy.

    d-3 tennis was great because i made a ton of good friends, i learned alot from my cappy, i learned how to string racquets and i've got more stories than this thread can hold!
     
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  10. MItenniskid

    MItenniskid New User

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    Where are you playing at?
     
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  11. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Have a kid playing D3 right now and it is an awesome once in a lifetime experience. I have been to many of the matches. The team is very close and the kids play hard. The kids love it. There is not the pressure or time commitment of D1 so the kids are students first, athletes second.
     
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  12. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    There's a pretty wide spectrum for DIII tennis. On one end of the spectrum you've got schools with talent, facilities, and coaching that are top notch and rival DI programs. Then on the other hand I've seen DIII and NAIA teams that are so bad that they would probably be shut out by a good high school team.
     
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  13. Hodgey20

    Hodgey20 Rookie

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    I currently play DIII tennis in the boston area. I am a senior and I can tell you first hand that college tennis at the DIII level is a great time and you will have memories that will last a lifetime. I am so happy that I played tennis at the collegiate level it is a great experience, and there is not a ton of pressure but it is definitely more serious than high school. The competition that I play is good, the winner of the conference I am in gets an automatic bid to the NCAA's. Being a part of a team while you are at college enhances the experience, and being able to play a sport you love makes it even more worthwhile. Goodluck and enjoy it because trust me it goes by much faster than you can imagine.
     
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  14. Coach Carter

    Coach Carter Rookie

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    Yes, but I saw weaker D1 squads that Highland Park, New Braunfels, or some of the stronger Plano West teams of the last decade here in Texas could have easily spanked HARD. It was talked about on other threads in the past...and speculated that some of those powerful HS squads could win small D1 conferences most years.
     
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  15. DakotaM

    DakotaM New User

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    Hi guys, I'm a long time lurker and I just recently got around to making an account, so this is my first post. I play 4 seed D3 tennis at Maryville College. I'm only a freshman, but so far everything has been great. It's really fun but also hard work. I'm not an amazing athlete or tennis player, but since it's D3 I'm able to compete. From what I've heard from my coach I should have a decent season at 4 seed, and I'm a 4.0 player. The practices aren't overbearing, and it's good to know that academics come first.
     
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  16. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    You guys only have seven players on your roster according to your web site (3 seniors and 4 freshmen!) How many lines of singles and doubles are played in D3?
     
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  17. Coach Carter

    Coach Carter Rookie

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    they play the same as all other divisions, 6 lines of singles and 3 lines of doubles.
     
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  18. DakotaM

    DakotaM New User

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    Coach Carter is correct. From what I've heard it's not too uncommon for D3 players to play both doubles and singles at the same match. My upperclassmen teammates say we play for about 5 hours on game days :shock:
     
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  19. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    ^ correct. I generally played singles and doubles. Drink lots of water, if you split sets in both some matches can be grueling. What to expect depends greatly on where you're playing. I played in a relatively weak conference where I dominated at #2 but struggled (50-50) at #1. This can generally be attributed to the fact that regardless how weak a program is, most every college will have at least one ringer among them. That being said I've seen some kids playing even in the top half of the line up that have no business claiming d3 tennis credentials. They would be bageled by a low level 4.0 easily.
    Either way enjoy the NCAA and match play, being on and traveling with a team is fun and it's a great way to meet people as a freshman being a student athlete. Plus there's probably not ever going to be another time in your life where you can justify working on your game and hitting as many tennis balls as you're about to hit in the next four years! Enjoy hope you make the team.
     
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  20. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    This is not uncommon in D1 either.

    A pro set for doubles and best out of three for singles shouldn't take five hours. Can't remember ever being at a college match that took five hours
     
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  21. FHslice

    FHslice New User

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    Totally depends on which school you are going to. I went to Gustavus in the 90's which runs a pretty intense program. They carry 30 players and the time commitment for the top guys is similar to d1. We traveled a ton, from February to mid-May we had matches every weekend. The spring season was short ending in mid-October. During the off-season guys played tournaments, and practiced on their own. The challenge matches were as intense as the real ones. Don't forget that your coaches will have a huge impact on your experience. I had an awesome coach who would have done anything for you on or off the court. I am in my mid-30's and an a coach now, not for a school, but a teaching pro.

    d3 tennis IMO is playing at higher level than ever, it's a lot deeper. I recommend a website called Divsion3Tennis.com. It's updated regularly, and if you read it, you'll be an expert on d3tennis nationally.
    http://Division3Tennis.com



    If your school is not competing nationally, you can still have a great experience...it's really what d3 is all about...having fun, learning about yourself, traveling, making lifelong friends. Some of my best friends now are guys from the team...and guys from other schools too. I am playing a former teammate tomorrow morning...and it's gonna be a war:)...best of luck
     
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  22. Coach Carter

    Coach Carter Rookie

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    If you're a stud at a D1, you're going to play both singles and doubles in a college match! You think the coach will take the chance to not play his best because it's D1?
     
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  23. DakotaM

    DakotaM New User

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    I have my first 2 college matches this weekend. One against Piedmont and the other against Lagrange. I'll check in with how it went next week. Wish me luck!
     
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  24. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    I play for one of the best schools in my DIII conference, and there are definitely a lot of high level players out there. Our team can beat some DII schools, but we're still not considered elite in DIII.

    My experience as a whole? I really love it. It helps that I have awesome teammates but there's just something about turning an individual sport into something revolving around a team that is great.

    I chose DIII for the academics. Realistically I know I'm a student first and then an athlete. I'm not going to go to some mediocre school for tennis and gamble with my education. With DIII, tennis is a big part of my life still but it isn't the only thing in my life.
     
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  25. Costagirl

    Costagirl Banned

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    Wow...interesting as you must be inside my head lately. I love to do college tennis interviews as part of my business / blog. I just landed UNC's Whitney Kay who is doing well right now. Zoe Scandalis from USC and Jarmere Jenkins (UVA) Sloane Stephens as we all know...but i have been thinking specifically about D3. I love college tennis in general not just D1...college players have experiences and challenges I am very interested in. Which school are you going to? I wish you great success. And maybe - just maybe?
     
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  26. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

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    +1. Almost exactly my experience as well.

    Played in the 90's for a school that was D-III and was in the process of transitioning to D-II at the time (and is now D-I).

    Though the composition evolved quite a bit even just during my time there, the varied range of players on our team and the variety among D-III teams in general was astounding.

    For example, with respect to our team, when I first joined, the #1 player was already a D-III All-America but then the quality quickly dropped and the bottom half of the starting line-up barely owned their own rackets. After the #1 player/All-America graduated, the coach started recruiting internationally in anticipation of the transition to D-II so at the end of my career we had the top 4 spots anchored by a Norwegian, two Koreans and a German who were all really strong players (all played seriously among the junior ranks) but again, the rest of the team was a motley crew (including me) that ranged from what would be 3.5 to 4.5 (being slightly generous) NTRP players.

    Some of the craziness that occurred on and off court during practices and matches would have to have been seen to be believed.

    Great times!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
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  27. Costagirl

    Costagirl Banned

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    Damn...you made me wanna be back at a D3 school playing just reading this....really well said!
     
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  28. Hodgey20

    Hodgey20 Rookie

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    Haha thanks
     
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  29. Cesar1992

    Cesar1992 New User

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    Playing DIII and having a great experience has much to do with the coach's philosophy, the make-up of the team, and then, the team's success. The first two are the most important, but, the third will make the first two OK if the team is really successful, although the fun or camaraderie may or may not be there.
     
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  30. D3AtlanticSouth

    D3AtlanticSouth New User

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    Hey there, I saw this thread and thought I might like to chime in. I am the head writer for the blog that's quoted above. I'm not going to advertise my blog as it already has a great following, but I do encourage you to check it out.

    Either way, I'm a former DIII tennis player and now obviously still very much into the game. DIII was a great choice for me because I was able to pursue my academics at a high level but still play tennis at a very competitive level as well. The DIII landscape has really changed over the years and we are now getting some of the best players in the nation to commit to some of our best DIII schools. However, it's not just restricted to the best, that's for sure. There are plenty of other DIII schools for players that are maybe not as serious, yet still want to keep the racket out of the closet. It's always fun to be a part of a team and a group of guys or gals that are really working to a common goal. DIII promotes the best of both worlds because there are not very many guys looking to go pro or just keep their scholarships. Everyone is in it for the tennis, and that's what makes our division so unique. Good luck with everything!!
     
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