Normally Jackie Reynecke would be dreading the notion of 240 college students ascending on Palmetto Dunes. But not this weekend.
Instead, she and the others at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center will welcome the collegians with open arms, as 32 teams prepare to face off in the USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational.
"For the last two years, it's been the nicest kids," Reynecke said " ... It's not been something that's turned into a big party. They really come for the event. It's a nice change from some of the things we do."
The University of South Carolina, College of Charleston and Furman University all will take part in this year's event, which returns to Palmetto Dunes for the third straight year. Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio State, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin highlight some of the other major flagship universities represented.
The teams are not members of their school's NCAA team, but rather part of an intramural organization or club squad.
"It's some darn good tennis, you would be surprised," Reynecke said. "Sometimes, it's kids that maybe could have played at a Division III school or a Division II, but wanted to go to a different school because of academics, or a lot of different reasons."
Last year, the Duke Blue Devils took home the title, edging the Virginia Cavaliers for the crown. Winners are invited to the national championship held in Surprise, Ariz., the following year.
"Some of these kids are really high-level players," Reynecke said.
Action begins 8 a.m. Friday in a round-robin format. Play will last through Sunday afternoon's finals matches.
Admission is free and open to the public.