The week of March 10 was a tough week for the Taylor community. In addition to worries about the semester’s future in light of COVID-19, Taylor’s men’s tennis team geared up for what would be their last practice.
According to freshman David Sandi, Head Coach Don Taylor told them to prepare for a rough meeting with the athletic director. Athletics Director Kyle Gould told them the team had been cut due to budgeting. This was it for them as varsity tennis players at Taylor.
The next day, Interim President Paige Cunningham delivered the news in a university-wide email. In the email, she said not only had the men’s tennis team been cut, but the women’s tennis and lacrosse team as well.
“These decisions are part of a campus-wide process of focusing on stewarding available resources as a component of a multi-year effort to ensure a positive margin in the overall university budget,”Cunningham said.
Cunningham also said Taylor would be introducing competitive cheer next fall. Cheer had been a club sport in previous years.
The email concluded with some good news as it said impacted athletes will not lose their scholarships and those who wish to transfer will be able to do so immediately without any restrictions. The men’s squad went 7-6 in their final season in the fall and the women’s team went 7-7. Both teams made the Crossroads League Quarterfinals. Tennis will continue forward as a club sport.
Players from all three teams had to make some tough decisions. In regards to the men’s tennis team, Freshman Chase Bremner received an offer from Cornerstone University but decided to stay at Taylor.
Sandi, who left everything to follow his dream of playing tennis in the United States, made the decision to continue following his dream at Grace College.
Sandi and Bremner formed a dynamic duo in the regular season as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players. Both made the Crossroads League Men’s Tennis All-League Team as freshmen and led the team to a 4-5 conference record.
Despite losing their team, both players are looking forward to their future. Bremner is looking forward to playing in intramural leagues and spending more time with his wing. Sandi said he is thankful for the opportunity to continue his U.S. tennis career at Grace College this fall.
“I made a lot of friends at Taylor, I like Taylor, but I like it more to play tennis,” Sandi said.
Despite these changes, Taylor hopes to come back stronger and smarter than ever before. May it be so.