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New Beginnings: Georgian Court Real Tennis Team Takes on Philly

Court tennis players at GCU

Sebastian Mikuska, Andres Adum, Thomas DeNoville, and Ben Salsby (left to right) represented Georgian Court during the April 30th court tennis match against the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.

The day everyone had been waiting for arrived on Saturday, April 30, when the new Georgian Court University real tennis team played their first-ever game, competing against the Racquet Club of Philadelphia on GCU’s 1899 court, the second-oldest court tennis facility in the United States. Court tennis, also known as real tennis, differs substantially from lawn tennis, the game familiar to most people. While players hitting a ball over a net with a racket is similar, and some of the scoring is familiar too, that’s where the similarities end. The rules of court tennis are so complex that many a world-class lawn tennis player (Pete Sampras included) has been baffled by this ancient game.

GCU students Samantha Fernandez of Toms River, New Jersey; Ben Salsby of Worcester, United Kingdom; Andres Adum of Guayaquil, Ecuador; Thomas DeNoville of Jackson, New Jersey; Jordan Eugenis of Ocean, New Jersey; Philip Spear of Newburgh, New York; and Sebastian Mikuska of Augsburg, Germany represent the new Georgian Court real tennis team. Mike Gooding, professional real tennis player and former World Doubles No. 1 and World Singles No. 2, has been successfully working to prepare each player since January. Ben, Andres, Thomas, and Sebastian competed in the match, winning against the Philadelphia Racquet Club, 6-3.

It was a great day, not only because of Georgian Court’s success, but because William McLaughlin, president of the United States Court Tennis Preservation Foundation (USCTPF); Richard Moroscak, chair of the Georgian Court Court Tennis Committee and member of the USCTPF board; and Edward Hughes, former president of the U.S. Court Tennis Association who set up the USCTPF, were on hand to watch the match and enjoy the beautiful court. It is thanks to the USCTPF that this program was able to start so successfully. Working in cooperation with the university, the USCTPF’s efforts to utilize the facility by offering lessons for students and attracting court tennis players from around the world has created a true resurgence of interest in this unique court.

“We are thrilled to have a court tennis team on campus once again,” says Meghan Rehbein, GCU director of development and advancement services. “We look forward to many more years of collaboration with the USCTPF.”

Story contributed by Sebastian Mikuska ’16, a business administration major with a concentration in marketing.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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