Prior to the 1920s, tennis was played by the “ladies” of Western as a recreational activity at annual sports and play days. By 1922, a formal ladies' tennis club was in place at Western due to the expansion of the sport coinciding with general developments in women’s athletics.
The first Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament was held at the University of Toronto in the 1927-28 season between McGill, Queens, Toronto and Western. Led by captain Olga “Billie” Miller, the team from Western of Laura Billings, Mary Flesher and Kathleen Yeates decidedly won the championship. Intra-university sports days between University, Brescia, and Alma colleges strongly contributed to the growth of interest in the sport throughout the 1930s and beyond.
The glory days of tennis at Western were undisputedly in the years between 1969 and 1978, and 1985 through 1993. Under the leadership of coaches Candy Stothart, Helen Luckman, Barb Hyatt and Karen Danylchuck, Western tennis dominated the majority of Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships during these periods. The years 1985-90 were marked by a particularly exciting rivalry between Queen's and Western, with both teams vying for the Ontario women’s tennis crown.
To read about the history of men's tennis, click here.