VIRGINIA BEACH --- The opening of the new Everett Tennis Center on the Virginia Wesleyan College campus adjacent to the Batten Student Center, the first of a number of planned modernizations of the College's outdoor athletic facilities, provides a new home for the men's and women's tennis teams as well a new space to be enjoyed by the entire campus community.
Competition at the new complex resumes on Saturday, March 10, when the VWC tennis teams host the Quakers of Guilford College at 2:00 pm. This marks the first Old Dominion Athletic Conference match at the new Everett Tennis Center.
Established on the foundation of the Penzold Tennis Center – named for Ted Penzold, a noted tennis instructor and promoter of the game in Virginia – the Everett Tennis Center includes a total of eight new courts, including two championship courts, two lighted grandstand courts and four competition courts, along with court fencing designed with California corners, stadium seating, a gazebo, viewing stand and storage.
The new center is named after O.L. Everett, Chairman of the VWC Board of Trustees, and his wife Carol, current President of the Women of Wesleyan. It will feature new spectator-friendly fencing, an upgraded lighting system on the grandstand courts, a welcome gazebo, a viewing stand, a brick façade entrance and ample seating for fans. The location of the center near the Batten Student Center will also provide easy access to locker rooms, rest rooms and all the amenities offered in the building.
"These courts will rival any in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and will send a great signal to future Marlins that we take our tennis seriously at VWC," says VWC Athletic Director Joanne Renn, who was the women's head tennis coach from 1995 through 1999. "We look forward to hosting tournaments with our ODAC conference competitors, especially as we celebrate the College's 50th Anniversary."
New Tennis Director Tom Drabczyk is the most enthusiastic about the facility. "This complex instantly makes us competitive on a national landscape in Division III. We are an ambitious program with a facility to help us reach our goals," say Drabczyk. "We are looking to fully utilize this facility to promote awareness of our program in the community and to take us nationally."
Great care has been taken in the design and construction of the Everett Tennis Center to use materials, surfaces and plantings that respect the environment in keeping with the College's overall commitment to environmental sustainability. The existing trees and shrubbery at the site have been kept in place to provide a wind break and beautiful backdrop for the courts. Additional plantings are a key element of the final design and construction.
A formal ribbon cutting event for the Everett Tennis Center is being planned in the Fall of 2012 as part of the College's 50th anniversary celebration.