on November 16, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Even a stupendous storm can’t stop an Oredigger

Even a stupendous storm can’t stop an Oredigger

Luckily, doubling the cost of the flight to get to the tournament in South Carolina after Hurricane Matthew was the only major hassle players on the Colorado School of Mines club tennis team had to go through.

In fact, they would do it again if they had to.

“It’s a blast of a tournament,” said Anna Gallagher, the team’s treasurer –; a senior studying geology. A person gets to play tennis all day, then go to the beach in the evenings, she added. “I can’t think of anything better than that.”

The United States Tennis Association’s Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational took place Oct. 28-30 at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It was postponed for nearly a month from its original dates of Oct. 7-9 because of Hurricane Matthew.

Mines fared well against the 35 other co-ed club tennis teams –; taking third in the bronze bracket, meaning they placed in the middle, with silver and gold brackets above them and copper below.

In July, the team signed up eight people, out of its 65 members, to compete in the fall tournament. However, the tournament had filled up in record time, so Mines was placed on a waitlist, said Brandt Theander, a senior studying mechanical engineering, who is the team’s president. In late September one team dropped out and Mines got to take its place.

Then Hurricane Matthew struck the Western Atlantic. Deemed a Category 5 at its strongest, the storm hit South Carolina as a Category 1 cyclone in the morning of Oct. 8.

Mines found out the day they were supposed to fly out that the tournament had been postponed. But the team’s vice president Jaime Hill, a sophomore studying chemical engineering, knew the tournament wasn’t going to happen as soon as she heard news of Hurricane Matthew.

Hill had previously lived in a small town outside of New Orleans, and went through Hurricane Katrina –; also a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane –; in late August 2005.

“It definitely is not a place where we would want to be when it was happening,” Hill said of South Carolina and Hurricane Matthew.

The students said it was obvious the area had been struck by a natural disaster, but the damage had not been severe where they traveled. Lots of trees were uprooted, roof work was being done and a lot of cleanup crews were scattered about, they said. About 80 percent of the businesses that sustained damage were open again by the time of their arrival.

Overall, the team was simply happy to be able to compete against some larger schools, such as this year’s national champion, the University of Florida, and defending national champions Auburn University.

Team member Abby Reuland, a senior studying mechanical engineering, formerly played on Mines’ varsity volleyball team, but was looking for something different and said she threw herself into tennis about a year and a half ago.

“I was so grateful to play against people who have been playing tennis their whole life,” Reuland said. “I never would have had that opportunity if I hadn’t been on this team.”

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