The Road Not Taken takes another look at Women’s Tennis programs at the Division 1 Level. Here we have two teams from different conferences and different parts of the country. The University of South Carolina located in Columbia, S.C. is in the SEC. The University of Montana is in the Big Sky Conference and is located in Missoula, MT. The football team competes in the NCAA I-AA level but the rest of the sports participate at the NCAA I-A level.
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks have a great team and most likely would beat the Grizzlies on any given year if you look at the toughness of the conference alone. What I find interesting is the proximity of the school to junior players in the Southern Section of the United States. You wonder why they need to go to other countries like Bulgaria and Sweden to recruit tennis players. Plus they have a super duper coach in Kevin Epley. The Gamecock’s roster shows they do have two players from the United States and both are actually from the state of South Carolina. But the rest of the 8 player roster is filled with players from places from around the globe.
The University of Montana is in the Big Sky Conference and really is not located next to any “hotbed” for tennis talent. The team roster has on it one player from Canada on their roster. The rest of their players are from around the USA. The Grizzlies are coached by another terrific coach named Steve Ascher and each year he has been at Montana he has improved the record of the team. So it is good to see this can be done at least on some level with American kids playing for the school.0
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