For the sixth straight year, The University of Alabama is a national champion in collegiate wheelchair tennis.
The Crimson Tide rolled to victory on Saturday, April 16th, taking home the team title at the 21st annual USTA Collegiate Wheelchair Championships by defeating San Diego State.
Along with the team competition, Alabama senior Thomas Venos successfully defended his 2021 national title in the “A” singles bracket (top players in the tournament) edging out teammate Nathan Hunter. Five of the top six singles players in the tournament came from Tuscaloosa.
The tennis championship is the 2nd National title the University of Alabama Adaptive Athletics has won this spring. In March, the Tide’s Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team won their eighth title since 2009.
“We have an entire adaptive athletics department that’s successful and invested in growing tennis, basketball and other sports,” Tide Wheelchair Tennis Head Coach Evan Enquist told The Bama Buzz. “University of Alabama support has been tremendous. We broke ground on the first ever wheelchair tennis facility in the United States that was built specifically for wheelchair tennis players back in October. We raised about $1.2 million to do that, with the university’s help, we’ve kind of set a bar and reached a lot of incredible landmarks to make this sport excel in the last few years.”
The state of Alabama can also take pride to know that Auburn University finished 3rd in the team competition, followed by Michigan and Houston. In total, nine teams competed in the championship round.
Coach Enquist is excited to see the sport grow nationwide.
“The number of schools involved has been growing. For me as a coach, it’s exciting to have more schools involved and greater level of competition. It’s actually leading us toward— the same college tennis experience that I had, as a division one athlete. More programs, more opportunities, a full season, a full schedule of home matches and away matches. The kind of experience and competition that I had as a player is now becoming more of reality every year.”
Alabama’s campus slogan is “Where Legends are Made.” Congratulate the Crimson Tide’s Wheelchair Tennis team on Facebook and tag @Thebamabuzz