Men’s tennis ranked top in nation for attendance

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    When men's tennis coach David Roditi first got the head-coaching job at TCU in 2010, he wrote “1,000 fans at a tennis match” on a dry erase board in his office for his players to see.

    He said some of his players laughed as he wrote it because they thought it was an impossible goal.

    This season, the men’s tennis team has met and surpassed that goal.

    The team is currently No. 1 in the nation in total attendance, average attendance and highest single match attendance with a recorded 1,425 fans at the Texas A&M match on Feb. 2, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

    “The crowd has been so helpful and fun. I know our coaches and my teammates have put a lot of work into marketing to make it possible," junior Max Stevens said. "We set that as one of our team goals, and it's great to be able to accomplish it.”

    When Roditi looks back to the time when he played tennis for the Frogs from 1993 to 1996, he said there was a completely different crowd atmosphere.

    “I remember thinking as a player about how no one really came out to watch us," Roditi said. "It was kind of a bummer, and I always envied those programs that got a lot of people to come out and watch. When I become head coach, I decided it was my opportunity to do something about it."

    Roditi said he credits the sorority challenge implemented midseason in 2012 for the team’s attendance success and winning record.

    “The reason why we are winning is because of the constant attendance from the sororities," Roditi said. "It helps when a lot of people show up. It creates a better atmosphere."

    The sorority competition is broken into an overall attendance competition and a best hosted theme competition.

    The winners of the challenge will be chosen after the last home match hosted by Pi Beta Phi on April 19.

    Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Gamma and Kappa Kappa Gamma are currently in the lead for the overall attendance competition, team graduate assistant Karlene Tipton said.

    At the end of the season, the players, coaching staff and committee members will choose the sorority they believe hosted the best themed match, Roditi said.

    “I feel like everyone has done a great job. It’s hard to really say who is winning, and it will be difficult to choose a winner in the end,” Roditi said.

    The winning sorority in each competition will receive $500 toward their respective philanthropy.