On an overcast day, a team of players in light blue played against a dark blue team on six courts before dozens gathered at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
This is where the college tennis team had some of the best moments in its history. And where will you die?
For the first time, the St. Francis, Brooklyn men’s team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament. However, the program came to an end after the first round match ended on Friday and St. Francis lost his 4–0 loss to Colombia. St. Francis suspends all sports at the end of the school year for budgetary reasons.
Chad Davis plays for St. Francis and has been the men’s tennis coach for 19 years. “Being a college graduate, being there for a long time, and seeing the program grow year after year and fight after fight, it’s definitely a bitter pill to swallow,” he said.
St. Francis started the season 1-10, including a loss in the first conference game, and seemed unlikely to make it into the tournament. “It was definitely difficult at first. We weren’t clicking,” said Davis.
Then, in March, news came that the university’s athletic program had closed. The school cited “rising operating costs, flat revenue streams, and plateauing enrollment.”
“I was so surprised. When I saw the athletic director, her voice was so sad. I said, ‘Something’s going on here.’ Some people were crying when she told the news. It was a very sad moment. ”
“It was definitely a punch in the gut just to hear it,” Davis said. , stringed together some great victories.”
The team has won 7 of its last 8 games, including all remaining conference games. However, Northeast had to win his conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. In the final we met Fairleigh Dickinson, who had eliminated it in the last two years.
Foix Sotos was the player who won the clinch match with a 4-2 win. “It was the best feeling ever,” he said. “It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
In the NCAA Tournament against Columbia, St. Francis was a big underdog. With a record of 19 wins and 3 losses, Colombia achieved its highest ever ranking, placing him 13th in the nation. The match is mostly in front of friends and family, and it’s nothing like when Billie Jean King’s center was filled with fans paying his $24 for chicken tenders at the US Open.
St. Francis was further hampered by being short-handed by failing to cancel travel plans made by some players when travel to the tournament seemed unlikely. Foix Sotos, for example, played his fourth single instead of his usual sixth. Davis also had to miss the game due to health issues.
Columbia handled the first doubles match quickly without dropping a set and the singles match was not close. Other matches were called off when Columbia won her third singles match, ending St. Her Francis’ final season.
St. Francis was one of the smallest schools to run Division I athletics.
The men’s basketball team was one of four original Division I members who failed to make it to the NCAA Tournament. However, the men’s water polo team made multiple appearances in his 2013 Final Four, with the city skyline in the background as the soccer game was held at Brooklyn Bridge Park, with visiting players regularly snapping selfies. I wanted to.
The men’s and women’s track teams are still in the final stages, but in a matter of weeks their final season will also be over.
St. Francis says it will honor sports scholarships for athletes who remain eligible. , They don’t want to transfer for just one year.But the freshmen and sophomores all want to transfer.They are looking for schools.”
Athletic officials said they were putting together their resumes. Does Davis have any plans after he spends 20 years at school?”At this point, no, I don’t.”
When the game ended on Friday, the teams gathered by one of the nets, folded arms and shared a private moment.
Fowa Sotos said, “We just said thank you.
“My last college game,” he said of his unexpected visit to the tournament.