‘Play a Laker’ to help Lakers play

Jordan Pendel, Staff writer

The U.S. Open, Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. These Grand Slam tournaments are the most important events in tennis. Have you ever wondered just how a tennis match works? Or maybe you’re interested in improving your backhand. Take a shot and support the Mercyhurst Tennis teams as they host their “Play a Laker” fundraiser.

On Feb. 24, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the tennis program will be holding its spring break fundraiser at Pennbriar Athletic Club. The cost is $30 for adults and $20 for children. Donations of any size are welcome and appreciated for those who are unable to participate.

The funds received from the event will help reduce the cost of the teams’ spring break travel to Nags Head, N.C., where they will be playing in several different matches.

Students and residents of Erie who support this fundraiser will have the chance to play against players on the women’s and men’s teams, the majority of whom are international students. All athletes will participate, and supporters will be able to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

In addition, there will be fun tennis games for those who do not want to play a full match. Participants will be able to get tips and lessons from the players. Supporters will also have the option to pick the athlete they want to go up against or they can be given someone at random.

“The bright side is that even if someone you want to play is hitting with someone else, there are plenty of great players on the team you can play until that person is done,” Adrianna Jeffress, senior Biology major, said.

Playing a match against one of the Mercyhurst athletes will provide a fantastic workout. The team is fairly flexible with what will happen at the fundraiser and it is up to the supporter to decide the kind of action they want to participate in.

“We’re sort of making it to order so if you are to come, it’s whatever you want to play,” Jerome Simon, head coach for both men’s and women’s tennis, said.

The afternoon will also include food, refreshments and a meet-and-greet with the teams.

Jeffress encourages everyone, even those who have never picked up a racket before, to attend.

“We want it to be a fun and playful event,” said Jeffress. “Whether you want to pick up a few tips on your game or you are just looking for something to do, we welcome you to join us.”

The fundraiser will be a great learning experience for both the supporter and the athlete.

The “Play a Laker” fundraiser has happened before in the past, but the teams have not done it since 2014. It was not as consistent as they would have liked, but with the increased advertisement they are hopeful many more people will show up this year.

“It will be a great fun day where all the Lakers can gather towards a great cause,” said Saioa Gomez, senior Economics and International Business major. “Thank you so much in advance.”
Gomez is looking forward to having a blast with all Lakers who participate.