As we enter the final stretch of our History of Louisville Women’s Sports we look at Chapter 10: Tennis. As we have done with the previous week, we will refer to women’s tennis simply as tennis.
Louisville officially traces its tennis program back to 1979. There has been roughly 150 players to walk through the doors since then.
Many players have had successful careers. Kelly Ford and Natalie Laszkowski are tied for the career record in singles wins with 102 each. Meg Peavy has the highest winning percentage with 0.855. The Bass-Rudd Tennis Center is the current home for the Cards. They have the option to play indoors or outdoors with the inside containing six courts and eight courts on the outside. It is considered one of the best collegiate tennis facilities in the country. The Bass-Rudd Tennis Center first opened its doors in 1994 and the Cards have been there since Day One.
Mark Beckham has been head coach since 2007. Beckham played for the UofL men’s team during his college days. Beckham guided the Cards to their first NCAA Championships appearance in program history. Their highest ranking under Beckham is 38th. He led his team to a Regional Runner-Up finish in the 2013 ITA Regional Doubles Championship. Beckham has reached well beyond 100 wins in his career. Beckham was an assistant coach, primarily for the men's team, before he was elevated to the head coaching job for UofL women's tennis.
Beckham is a Louisville native and played his high school tennis at Eastern High School.
The 2010-11 season is notable. He had BIG EAST Freshman of the year Julie Fellerhoff on the roster. He had the highest ranked doubles team in Division I in Fellerhoff and Mandy Brown and the highest ranked singles player in Becca Shine.
Unfortunately, despite the existing of Louisville Tennis tracing back to 1979 there is very little documentation on anything outside of letter-winners. Nothing is posted about season results or how they fared in the different conferences such as Conference USA, Big East, AAC, or ACC. The history books don’t even reference coaches prior to Mark Beckham.
Admission is free for all tennis matches, indoors and outdoors. There are bleachers at the ends of the courts for easy view of the matches. You can sometimes catch us out watching the matches live and I try to make a match or two a year to get some photos.
Happy Friday and Go Cards!