TENNIS ON CAMPUS SPOTLIGHT: Olivia Madison
The final field trip of the year for the Cal Poly Tennis On Campus team and its senior Club President Olivia Madison will be a little bittersweet this year.
After finishing eighth overall in the nation at last year’s USTA Tennis On Campus National Championships, the Mustangs finished this season’s SoCal Sectionals in fourth place, just one spot away from a return to Nationals.
So the annual six-hour drive to Indian Wells to take in some tennis and team bonding at the BNP Paribas Open will be only for fun as Cal Poly’s competitive season has been completed.
“We continue our practices and we’ll keep playing till our finals,” Madison said. “We are staying at an Air BNB and we are just doing it as a bonding together trip and having a good time together.”
An eight-year streak to the Nationals ended this year for Cal Poly as SoCal will be represented by UCLA, USC and UC San Diego.
Madison said Cal Poly has always fielded a competitive team since Charlie Fox started the program back in 2011. “I think a lot of very athletic people are at Cal Poly, and they are all very competitive too,” Madison said. “A lot of people are very motivated on their own and we are so tight-knit. We are all friends off the court. It makes it very easy for us to practice together and have a good time at these tournaments.”
Madison, 21, has played all four years on the Mustangs TOC team having fallen in love with the game as a high school freshman at Arroyo Grande High.
“One of my good friends asked me if I wanted to try out for the tennis team,” Madison recalled. “It was then that I learned how much I loved it. I immediately fell in love with it.”
Madison knows that in a few short weeks her college says will be over and she is already looking forward to starting her career as a business technology consultant in San Francisco.
But she will always have Tennis On Campus memories and lifelong friends she met along the way.
“The TOC program is great for someone like me,” she said. “Playing Division was not going to happen for me, so this was a balance between going to the school I wanted, and still being part of a college tennis team. All around it was a great opportunity for me.”
Madison has high praise for Madeline Segura, the SCTA’s Assistant Director of Adult Tennis. “Madeline has been an awesome coordinator and organizer,” she said. “She’s always available to answer my random questions. She’s helped give me all the tools and resources I need. She’s been a great asset to turn to.”
Segura returned the compliment, saying: “Olivia is highly motivated, an enthusiastic student leader, and a real advocate for the Cal Poly Tennis On Campus program,” Segura said. “It’s captains like Olivia that make organizing TOC and the events so rewarding.”