OLIVET, COLLEGE (September 19, 2022) – Construction on the new tennis court has begun and can be seen on the left side of the Cutler Athletic Center.
The construction of new tennis courts adjacent to the Cutler Athletic Center brings new potential to Olivet College’s tennis program. Courts are expected to be completed during the school year.
This addition is one that was long overdue. In the past, tennis teams have practiced at Marshall High School in Marshall and at Minges Creek in Battle Creek. Tennis player Olivet Kennedy Karns, senior, said: “I think it will be so much more enjoyable to train on campus rather than having to drive 40 minutes to an hour every day to get to the short.”
Thayne Bilicki, a sophomore on the men’s tennis team, said, “I’m super excited that I don’t have to drive and waste money on gas.”
Having courts on campus also provides other benefits, such as recruiting and creating a stronger tennis program. “I think it will help with recruiting as we try to rebuild the tennis team,” Karns said.
The elimination of the travel team for the tennis program allows more time to be spent on the courts. “It will open up longer practice times for us and more individualized training between the players and myself during the day,” tennis coach Brandon Ralston said.
Courts also give Olivet a leg up on other teams in the conference. “We will also have the newest courts in the conference, and I look forward to capitalizing on this moment in OC tennis history to bring in a great class that can help lead the program,” Ralston said.
The courts were made possible by a multitude of people. “We are extremely grateful to Tom Kolassa for funding the tennis courts and to the entire athletic department for making this possible,” Ralston said.
The courts also open the doors to recreational tennis for Olivet students. “I can now play tennis recreationally with my friends,” Bilicki said. New courts will add a lot to the athleticism at OC and bring a sense of excitement.
Photos by Ella Gaffke and Joanne Williams.