This fall, Hobart and William Smith Colleges dedicated the newly renovated HWS Tennis Center, which features a refinished playing surface for the eight-court facility, state-of-the-art drainage system and upgraded press box and lighting.
The showpiece of the new tennis center is the Morrow Championship Court, named in honor of Trustee Allison Morrow ’76, a former Heron tennis player. The Colleges also dedicated the Melly Court, in honor of Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees L. Thomas Melly ’52 L.H.D. ’02 and Judith H. Melly L.H.D. ’16, and the Hebard Court in honor of Edgar B. Hebard ’60.
“Thanks to the generosity of many, our new tennis facilities now match the skills and ambition of our student athletes,” said President Gregory J. Vincent ’83 at the dedication. “Whether they play at the varsity level or have a love for the sport and play recreationally, our students can now participate in this dynamic new space. I am grateful to everyone who made this project a reality.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony acknowledged all those who made the renovations possible, including Morrow, the Melly family and Hebard, as well as James and Bernadette Atwater P’19, Bess Brodsky Goldstein ’80, Karen Carpenter Gray ’88, P ’19, Mark S. Gray ’86, P’19, D. Hunt Hendrickson ’68, Sara Karlen Lacombe ’89 and the William Smith Classes of 1975-82.
“I believe that this is probably the most important development in the history of HWS tennis since the construction of the Field House in 1989,” said Chip Fishback, head coach of the William Smith tennis and squash teams. “The investment in the tennis facilities showcases the Colleges’ commitment to excellence, provides us a recruiting advantage over many of our competitors, and puts us in a position to proudly host multi-team tournaments.”
Tim Riskie, head coach of the Hobart tennis and squash teams, echoed Fishback as he described the impact the courts would have on players, who “feel a sense of pride and appreciation playing at one of the nicest outdoor tennis facilities in the northeast, if not the country.” Visiting recruits, Riskie added, will be, “impressed by the Colleges’ commitment to the tennis programs and first-rate training facilities while the Geneva tennis community will benefit and grow, using these courts to train kids and adults at camps, clinics, and tournaments.”
Ultimately, Riskie said he hoped “to instill a sense of pride and commitment in our teams that mirrors the spirit and generosity of [the donors] who have made this facility a reality.”
For Harry Nichols ’18, captain of the Statesmen tennis team, “these new courts are the physical manifestation of the Colleges’ commitment to student-athletes,” which, for Taylor Ferrari ’18, captain of the Herons tennis team, is an incentive “to play better and reach our full potential.”
Held as part of the Colleges’ Homecoming and Family Weekend, the dedication was followed by the second annual HWS UTR Grand Slam. Earlier in the month, William Smith held the annual Mary Hosking Invitational, marking the first intercollegiate event on the new courts.