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!
"Wang and Chung Wangchunged last night"- Gonzalito17