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"Night at the Net" aims to give back

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 18:39:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Some things happen by chance. this Thursday night, "Night at the Net" will be held at Shiloh Farm, a fund raising initiative for Florida State's women's tennis program. It's possible because of a friendship sparked by a phone call, and the hope? That their hard work benefits Seminole tennis players for years to come.

"About a year and a half ago, I got a call from a guy in the community, and he's like hey, it's my wife's birthday," remembers Florida State head women's tennis coach Jennifer Hyder. "She's doing a tennis clinic, can you go up and surprise her for her birthday?"

After some vetting, the call was legit, a surprise that turned into a friendship between Jennifer Hyde and Sharon Fallon -- the birthday girl.

"I consequently thought, wow, I need to do something as a pay back," she said. "That's kind of how it started."

"It" is "Night at the Net," a fund raising initiative to raise scholarship and performance funds for Florida State women's tennis.

"The whole tennis community in Tallahassee has just been amazing," said Dent Ward, co-chair of the event. "I felt like they felt our energy and our excitement."

"They want to support this program, they want to support FSU in general," added Fallon. "We understand that the non-revenue sports at school can use this support."

Support that on Thursday night will be on full display.

"The generosity that we've felt, our sponsors, people who have donated silent auction items," said Ward.

$50,000 is the goal.

"I find myself at a loss sometimes for words and wanting to be able to tell them how much I appreciate what they're doing for this program," said Hyde.

"The school, the athletes, and these girls are terrific," said Fallon.

And it all started with a phone call. If you can't attend Thursday night's Night at the Net, there are other ways to support the program. On Thursday morning, the team is hosting Day at the Net, where you can play tennis with team and coaches.

For more information on both events, click here.