Here we are, sitting in room 208 of Sigma Alpha Epsilon waiting to go to practice at 3 p.m. Unfortunately, it rained today and we had to change our practice time on four different occasions. Denis’ monthly allotment of text messages ran out by noon today, so he was a bit late to practice. The big match is on Thursday night at 6 p.m., and we fully expect the campus—and especially the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon—to be quite rowdy and inebriated (you should check out the Facebook event too).
Hosting the NCAA Tournament this year is a very exciting time for our team, and it’s a great opportunity for us. We are comfortable on our home courts, and we feel it’s a big advantage being able to have the home-crowd support behind us as we progress deeper into the tournament. At this time the previous two years, we were thousands of miles away from Stanford stuck in hotels with nothing to do but practice, sleep and indulge the occasional team Sporcle competition.
Now, we are able to go to class, stick to our normal routine (for the most part) and not have to worry about the new TSA pat-downs, flight delays (canceled flight from Seattle to Eugene at 12 a.m., and driving five hours to play at 11 a.m. the next day? It happened), cramped rental cars and southern humidity. Unfortunately, this year we were not able to see Gregory Hirshman wear his tiger-skin onesie on the plane flights or see Jamie Hutter take down an ounce of one of the hottest sauces in the world, “100% PAIN.” Our trainer didn’t even feel sorry enough to give him some Tums.
With all that said, it’s important that you get to know the individuals on the team before coming out to watch Thursday night. Or at least, get to know them as we do.
Ben-Jammin’ Ball (Jamin Ball)—freshman from Palo Alto, Calif. Stepped up big this year; assumed a starting role and a permanent designated driver spot for the SAE house.
Alex clayton—senior from Plantation, Fla. The most eligible bachelor on the team. Between the job at Goldman Sachs and his passion for creative writing, what’s not to love?
Samuel “Mr. Nice Guy” Ecker—sophomore from Mequon, Wis. Man of many racquets. Also happens to look similar to Justin Bieber.
Gregory “The Renaissance Man” Hirshman—senior from La Jolla, Calif. Tenacious fighter who always finds a way. Far too many skeletons in his closet to ever become a politician; he dreams about one day owning a “hybrid” vehicle.
Danny “Daniel-san” Ho—freshman from Rosemead, Calif. In his first dual match of the year, came up clutch for the team in the second round of NCAAs; not so clutch in English class, however.
Fawaz “El” Hourani—freshman from Amman, Jordan. Gives the team its token international player. Member of the Jordanian Davis Cup team, which you’ve probably never heard of.
James “Jamerton” Hutter—junior from Menlo Park, Calif. Injuries kept him out of action the past few years, but he still thinks he can bench press more than you.
Matt “capTAIN” Kandath—sophomore from Gansevoort, N.Y. Hits both hands off both sides. Absolutely loves receiving fan mail and mail from his teammates. Write him—he’s a chill dude.
Walker “Hard Hat” Kehrer—sophomore from Pacific Palisades, Calif. Strong contributor, especially in doubles, until a few “missteps” took him out of action.
Ted “Frank the Tank” Kelly—senior from Charlottesville, Va. A staple in the doubles lineup for the majority of his career, we can always count on him when we need to put a match on ice.
Bradley “BK Broiler” Klahn—junior from Poway, Calif. Last year’s NCAA singles champion, knows some Spanish, volunteers at Greenpeace.
Denis “Denise” Lin—sophomore from Thousand Oaks, Calif. An incredible talent for shanking balls over the fence, known for aggressively pegging anyone and everyone he can, but isn’t always sure where it’s going.
Ryan “Toucher” Thacher—junior from Studio City, Calif. Actually, he is the most eligible bachelor on the team. An international TV star whose favorite city is Vienna. If you don’t believe me, Google “Jake Pavelka.”
-Bradley Klahn ’12, Ryan Thacher ‘12 and Alex Clayton ‘11