Read More »
Trojan tennis finally has a place to call home. The new Marks Stadium was officially inaugurated in front of a crowd of fans and supporters on Tuesday.Complete with new locker rooms, a training room, a recovery room, covered seats and improved courts, the new stadium has garnered praise from current and former players alike.Outside the facility, together with a performance from the marching band, the ceremony started with Steve Lopes, the senior associate athletic director. Lopes recognized the donors and thanked them for their important support.First to speak in front of the crowd were Richard Gallien and Peter Smith, head coaches of the women’s and men’s team respectively.“It feels like winning an NCAA championship,” Smith said. “It was not a perfect season, but at the end we won.”It was then time for seniors Giuliana Olmos and Max de Vroome.“Coach really knows how to motivate us,” de Vroome said. “When I was playing in the final of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and I was up 5-4 he came to me and said, ‘Look Max, if you clinch this, we’ll get a brand new stadium,’ and here it is.”The present and past of both the men’s and women’s programs attended the event. Former athlete Amanda Flink (2005-2009) was in the crowd.“I’m really upset that this stuff wasn’t here when I was here,” Flink said. “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. The facility is incredible, the courts look incredible. It’s such a gift for the players to play on it. It’s definitively something this program deserves.”Olmos spoke about the impact the new facilities will have on the team.“I’m really excited for the brand new stadium,” Olmos said after the event. “We did really well last year. We finished ranked No. 2 in the country and we didn’t have a nice stadium as we have now. Now we have a training room, a learning studio and a training center that is like a recovery room. It’s just so exciting for us that we have even more. I’m excited to see how the program improves. This definitely gives us the home court advantage … and definitely makes us work harder and appreciate what we have.”The training room carries the name of Steve Johnson, who led the Trojans to win four NCAA championships during his college experience and is currently ranked 31 in the world, while the men’s locker room is dedicated to current men’s team head coach Peter Smith.With Marks Stadium officially inaugurated, the first team to step on the finished facility will be the Women of Troy, who will face the Cal Golden Bears on Friday, at 1:30 p.m. The men’s team is not playing at home until April, when they will face Cal on April 1 at 3 p.m.