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Ned '82 and Kristine Shadek Offer Matching Challenge to Raise Funding for Tennis Facilities Upgrade; Challenge Ends November 30

All-American tennis players Siobhan Finicaine '10 and Olivia Muesse '10

All-Americans Siobhan Finicaine '10 (left) and Olivia Muesse '10 won the doubles title at the 2007 NCAA Division III National Small College Championships and fell one match short of repeating as championships in 2009. Finicaine was Division III singles champion in 2008.

While the Pomona-Pitzer Division III Tennis program has earned many great successes during the past several years, they have done so under less than optimal conditions--most notably, a lack of appropriate lighting at the 10-court Pauley Tennis Complex, which requires student athletes to seek excused absences from classes to compete in weekday matches.

Planned upgrades for the Complex, which was dedicated in 1990, will cost $750,000. The College has set aside $250,000 for the upgrades, but needs an additional $500,000 in gifts to ensure the improvements can begin construction during the upcoming holiday break to be ready for the 2010 spring season.

Ned Shadek ’82 and his wife Kristine have challenged the Pomona-Pitzer tennis community to join them in supporting the upgrades with a promise to match any gift or pledge of $10,000 or more made by November 30, up to $200,000.

“Tennis has been an important part of my life and my family,” says Shadek, a lifelong player who competed during his time at Pomona. “I hope others who benefited from the tennis program will join Kristine and me in making Pomona’s tennis facility the best it can be for today’s students.”

The lack of appropriate lighting at the Tennis Complex has limited both practice and match hours. As a result, members of the tennis teams have routinely been forced to ask for absences from classes and labs in order to compete in weekday matches, and daytime practices have competed with other obligations.

“Our student-athletes have done a phenomenal job balancing academic life with athletics,” says Men’s Tennis Coach Ben Belletto. “From January through March, the heart of our season, we’ve had to find a way for two programs with 20+ people to succeed on just four lit courts. It has impacted our practices, as well as our student’s valuable class time. With these upgrades, we’ll be able to schedule more effectively so as to enable our student-athletes to maximize their time on the court and in the classroom.”

The planned upgrades include the addition of outdoor lighting on four courts where all matches are held, using a high-performance reflector system featuring Dark-Sky-certified, energy-saving halide lamps; the replacement of aging windscreens and fencing on all 10 courts; improved security lighting for the pathways that serve this area; the resurfacing of the eight main courts; the addition of wooden benches to provide seating for observers; and the expansion of the Tennis Training Room to make it suitable for team meetings.

For more information on the upgrades and gift opportunities, please view this PDF brochure [pdf] or contact Assistant Vice President for Advancement John Norton at (909) 607-6643 or john.norton@pomona.edu.

Over the past two decades, the Pomona-Pitzer tennis program has been one of the outstanding success stories in NCAA Division III. It has produced a number of All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, and national contenders and champions.

Last year, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s tennis team reached the NCAA’s Division III Elite Eight as a team, and the doubles team of Siobhan Finicane (Pomona ’10) and Olivia Muesse (Pomona ’10) advanced to the national championship match for the second time in three years.

Since 2007, the men’s tennis program has been recognized as one of the top academic and athletic programs in the country, having been named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team, as well maintaining a top 30 national ranking. Last season’s team featured eight Academic All-Americans, one NCAA Singles All-American (Cameron Taylor ‘08), three All-conference selections, and finished the season ranked 28 in the nation. This season’s team is looking to improve in all of those categories.

To learn more about our Tennis programs, please visit our Athletics Web site.