Skip to main content

Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Men's tennis team in a circle with their arms around each other, and slightly crouched. One player is standing in the center.

Advantage: University of Dayton

After years of hard work on and off the court, the University of Dayton men’s tennis team is right where it wants to be — taking on the best of the best.

This fall, six of the team’s members traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to compete in the ITA Men’s All-American Championship Sept. 30 through Oct. 8.

“We capitalized on the fact we had guys at this high-level tournament,” said senior Matt DeMarco. “Competing and playing as a team was a priceless experience as it helps create chemistry.”

Three of the players had earned spots outright in the competition and arrived a few days before play began so they could get acclimated to the weather. But it wasn’t long before three other players learned they had also performed well enough to compete at the championship, and they headed to Tulsa on a later flight. Thanks to donors who give to the Champions & Scholars Fund on days like One Day, One Dayton, the team had the funding it needed to get all six student-athletes to the court in time.

“We are incredibly thankful for support from donors,” said DeMarco. “Our ultimate goal is to be one of the top teams in the nation, and with help from donors, we can make strides toward that goal.”

Tournaments and matches, like the ITA Men’s All-American Championships, build player confidence and skills. They also allow Flyers athletes to compare their game, and the progress they’ve made, against players in other programs, even those currently more robust than UD.

“We’re more of a regional team right now, so to play outside of that and play among the best builds confidence,” said senior Connor Bruce. “It’s a great experience.”

And because of the sweat equity the players are putting in, combined with the investment from donors, the program is moving in the right direction. Three members of the Flyers roster, including DeMarco and Bruce, have been named to recent ITA Preseason Rankings, and the team as a whole has earned two consecutive A-10 Championship Finals spots. The program has finished with 15 or more wins in four of the past five full seasons.

With all of this recent success and this taste of higher-level competition, the team wants more. Among its goals — playing in a tournament over spring break, something that hasn’t happened since 2012.

“Travel opportunities give the players a chance to spend time together and build a brotherhood,” said men’s tennis head coach Ryan Meyer. “It changes the culture of the team.”

Previous Post

Forever Marianist

There’s a cross in every classroom at the University of Dayton — constant reminders of UD’s Catholic, Marianist mission, but it’s the faculty, staff and students who bring that mission to life and create the vibrant, intellectually curious and welcoming community. 

Read More
Next Post

Organic Growth

Jeremy Erb’s passion for organic chemistry synthesized in university and professional labs. Now an associate professor at UD, Erb is determined to foster curiosity and community among his students through hands-on lab experience.
Read More