Following a successful inaugural women's tennis season, Bryant & Stratton College – Wisconsin has announced it will launch Men's Tennis for the 2020-21 academic year. The team will compete at the NJCAA Division I level and compete against other Region IV colleges as well as other area colleges. Bobcats women's tennis coach Scott Ficks will be the head coach of the men's program. The NJCAA men's tennis season competes in spring, while the women's season in fall. Competing at Division I gives Bryant & Stratton the opportunity to offer athletic scholarships.
Bryant & Stratton plans to offer 19 scholarship-offering sports by the 2020-21 academic year.
"The Bobcats Athletic Department is excited to launch another spring sport and give the chance for a student to receive a scholarship towards their education," Bryant & Stratton's Associate Athletic Director Ryan Ratajewski said.
"The Bobcats tennis program is in great hands. Coach Ficks is a high-character, hard-working person with a passion for the game of tennis."
In addition to leading the Bobcats tennis program, Ficks has spent his entire career in tennis. He has been a tennis director at indoor clubs, a high school coach and most recently was named the Wisconsin USPTA Pro of the Year for the third time in 2018. His relationships in the local tennis community as well as on a national scale should help recruit talented student athletes and create a long term program with success on and off the court.
"As a former NJCAA tennis player for one of the most successful tennis programs in the country at Vincennes University (Indiana), I understand the importance of junior college athletics and the long term benefits it can provide to the players," Ficks said.
In its first season (fall 2019), the Bobcats women's tennis program qualified its top two players for the NJCAA National Tournament in May, 2020 in Tucson, AZ. Freshmen Desire Ahlberg and Val Kukuruzovic will compete in both singles and doubles competition at nationals. As a doubles team, the duo went 9-0 and did not drop a set all season. In singles competition, Ahlberg went 9-0 and never lost a set. Kukuruzovic was also undefeated at 10-0, never losing a set.