Loughborough University
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23 February 2007 PR 07/20

Loughborough University tennis team within touching distance of national club finals

Loughborough University’s men’s tennis team have the chance to reach the national league doubles finals for the second successive year this weekend when they host Worcestershire club Pershore in a playoff for one of 12 spots at next month’s finals.

The team, consisting of University tennis coach Jon Pankhurst and students Dave Culshaw, James Cuthell, Phil Downs and Jamie Taylor and Loughborough resident Matt Lowe, have already won seven league matches and a first round playoff to make the top 24 club teams in the UK.

“We made the finals last year, but I think this year’s performance has been better because of the quality of opposition we’ve had to play to get this far,” Pankhurst said.

“If we make the finals again this year, it’ll be just an amazing result for the guys because the calibre of players we will meet is very high. Some of the teams at nationals could even include four professionals, so it shows what standard we’re playing at.”

The Loughborough University club, which plays its matches in the Dan Maskell Tennis Centre on campus is one of only two university-based sides to make it this far.

“The fact we’re one of only two university-based teams to get to this level is a real testament to the top-level tennis programme here at Loughborough.

“It really shows to parents and potential students that we can produce the calibre of players who can reach national finals.”

The format of the competition involves each team selecting two doubles pairings, with each pairing playing the other team’s combinations, resulting in four matches. If the results are tied at 2-2, then the tie is decided on a set count back.

The finals will be held in Middlesbrough from 21-25 March.

Loughborough’s tie against Pershore begins on Sunday 25 February at 1200 at the Dan Maskell Tennis Centre.


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Notes to editors
Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough in the top five among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

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